It’s All About the Sheen!


The hardest thing about painting is choosing the color, right? Not so fast! The sheen of the paint that you chose is an important factor in your project as well. The sheen relates to the performance the dried paint has, in terms of cleanability and aesthetics. Let’s talk about the six basic sheens available from Benjamin Moore, what benefits each has, and where to use them.


The most basic finish is flat. Flat has no gloss at all. The benefit of a flat is that the absence of gloss causes it to hide minor flaws and imperfections in the surface really well. It has the ability to mask texture because the finish doesn’t reflect the light as much as a paint with a higher sheen. This also makes flat the easiest to apply due to the fact it can hide mistakes better than other finishes. Flat finishes also touch up well. The downside to flat is that the lack of gloss makes it harder to clean. Flats have a tendency to develop a sheen after they are washed repeatedly in the same area. The paint will actually “polish” up and the area will look different from the surrounding paint and it is more noticeable the darker the color. This finish is used best on ceilings and in rooms where the walls won’t be touched. Flat is rarely used in bathrooms, kitchens, and high traffic areas because of its more limited durability.


Eggshell finish can be complicated by the fact that every paint company has a slightly different standard as to how shiny their paint is. Benjamin Moore eggshell has a gloss between flat and satin. The finish is an elegant low sheen that stands up to repeated washings and abuse. While the eggshell finish can be used in most areas of the home, it is generally reserved for walls and isn’t usually used on ceilings and trim. Eggshell is harder to touch up than lower sheens, but wears better because it is more abrasion resistant. Since this paint will reflect light more than a flat, a little extra care is needed when applying this finish as the sheen can show both imperfections and roller marks under certain lighting conditions. Some users still apply eggshell to the trim and doors due to the desire for a very low sheen, but it is not recommended as it does not offer the long term durability needed for these surfaces. Eggshell is still used for ceilings in bathrooms where high humidity can cause flat paint on ceilings to peel.


The matte finish is a super cleanable flat-type finish. It blends the benefits of flat and eggshell finish with none of the downsides. The matte is aesthetically a flat but has a slight “glow” to the finish as compared to a true flat, but cleans and resists stains like an eggshell. The low sheen finish of matte is very popular for these attributes as well as the trend toward lower sheens in all aspects of home design and furniture. It applies easily and touches up well. This finish is used in all areas of the home, with special matte finishes available for use in high humidity areas like bathrooms. While it looks flat, matte is generally not used on ceilings because of its “glow”, except in special situations. Matte is particularly good for tall foyers and great rooms, since it is highly washable and minimizes wall issues in these large and usually well-lit areas.


Satin/pearl finish is shinier that an eggshell but lower in sheen than a semi-gloss. This description applies to Benjamin Moore products and isn’t necessarily the sheen standard of other manufacturers. The pearl/satin finish is very durable and can take repeated scrubbings without failing. Its medium sheen makes a pleasant lower sheen finish for trim, doors, cabinets, and furniture. The softer look of this sheen makes it more forgiving on surfaces that aren’t quite perfect and that lower sheen can produce a better looking finished surface than a traditional semi-gloss. As with the matte finish, tastes in finishes overall have taken a turn toward lower sheens and the pearl/satin finish gives us an extremely durable surface with a softer look. While this sheen is used primarily for hard surfaces, it can be used on walls in areas that really take a pounding, like mud rooms or kids bathrooms.


Semi-gloss is the highest of the common sheens. This product is traditionally used on trim, doors, and cabinets. Semi-gloss is a hard and durable finish that can withstand repeated scrubbing and abuse. This sheen was used primarily for interior woodwork for many decades. As tastes have changed away from higher glosses, more people have opted to use a pearl/satin finish where a semi-gloss was usually used. Very little is still sold for use on walls, since the higher sheen will really show off imperfections in the wall surface.


Gloss is still available for those that desire the shiny wet look of a polished surface. Gloss is a hard and durable finish. While only a little of this product still is used on woodwork and interior doors, it is primarily used for small accent pieces and furniture. Accent shelves, picture and mirror frames, and decorative objects are some of the surfaces gloss can be used on. It is also still used on exterior doors. Because it is so shiny, this finish takes more finesse to use and is not forgiving of surface flaws nor improper application. Gloss is applied in multiple coats that are often sanded between coats to flatten out the coating so that the final coat is smooth and brilliant.

Durability, abrasion resistance, and cleanability are factors that need to be considered when choosing the sheen of the paint. Benjamin Moore also has multiple quality grades of paint to fit specification or budgetary requirements. Our expertise at Blue Jay Paints and Blinds can help guide you through the choices of product and sheen that is best for your project.

Window Treatments 101 (part 2)

Blue Jay Paint and Blinds is your local resource for your interior design needs, including window treatments from trusted brands such as Hunter Douglas and Graber. Window treatments can enhance your home and offer a variety of benefits. In our first Window Treatments 101 blog post we talked about the reasons to choose window treatments for your home and their features. In this follow up post we will explore the different style options available.

Cellular Shades

Cellular shades, commonly known as Duette by Hunter Douglas and Crystal Pleat by Graber, are the honeycomb shaped shades most of us know. They are the workhorse of the window treatment industry. They generally have the most options in terms of fabrics, opacities, and lift systems. These shades also give the highest insulation value. Since these are so versatile, they can be used in any room of the house. They can even be sized to fit shaped windows such as arches and circles. One option that is available is the top down bottom up feature. This allows the blind to operate from the bottom up, as it is usually seen, or from the top down using a moveable center rail. Part of the window can be blocked while letting light in from the top half. The top of the shade could be lowered down a bit to let the light in but the bottom fabric would still obscure intruding eyes. In the last post we discussed how a sheer shade for the bathroom could still offer privacy. The top down feature can combine a sheer top fabric with an opaque bottom fabric in this configuration. The center rail could be moved up or down depending on your privacy needs at the time. For large windows or patio doors, there is a vertical product offering called Vertiglide or Slideview. This allows you to match all your shades in a room or home, without sacrificing ease of operation. These shades are offered with corded, cordless, and power lift options.

Pleated Shades

A shade that is making a resurgence is the pleated shade. This was the predecessor to the cellular shade. It is a simple, classic covering that has been updated with many bold color and pattern choices that make it very fashion forward. A very contemporary shade with multiple opacity options, it can be a very chic and economical option for your home.


Silhouette by Hunter Douglas is a unique offering that combines the soft look of a fabric shade with the adjustable light control of a blind. The soft vanes are fixed between two sheer panels. The sheer fabric blocks more that 80% of harmful UV rays, without disrupting the exterior views. Several vane sizes are offered to meet different design needs. The fabrics range from sheer to room darkening. Silhouettes are available with the Ultraglide lift option, which is a single cord that maintains a consistent length and eliminates a dangling cord loop. This improves the look and safety of the shade. As with the cellular shades, the silhouette offers a top down feature as well. The silhouette also has a companion vertical product for large openings, such as patio or French doors. It is called a Luminette. The vanes rotate left and right to control the light. It evokes the feeling of a drape but is much more versatile when it comes to light control. The standard control for this shade is a wand. The Powerview operating system, which is Hunter Douglas’ latest motorized system, is an available option. This system can be used with a remote or from a phone or iPad with a downloadable app. This motorized blind is not battery operated as many of the others are, but requires an outlet to plug into.


Another unique offering from Hunter Douglas is the Pirouette. This elegant shade has a vane that appears to be floating due to the invisible lift system and sheer backing. The sheer back blocks the UV light when it is open, so you get the sun protection without blocking the view, much like the silhouette. Unlike the silhouette, these vanes open and close instead of tilting. Multiple choices of fabrics can make this shade look formal to casual, depending on the design desired. Pirouettes are available in several lift systems including Powerview Motorization and Ultraglide (corded).The standard control is Easyrise which is a corded loop.


The Vignette shade evokes the feeling of a classic roman shade. Its many choices of luxurious fabrics and soft folds gives a beautiful shade choice with a casual feel. Unlike most roman shades, the vignette has no exposed cords on the back to give enhanced child and pet safety. It has a top down offering as well. Three style choices allow you to match this shade to your personal style as well as the window it needs to fit in. The vignette also has a vertical option for covering patio doors and the like. This allows you to match all the shades in a room, even one with large openings.

Roller/ Solar

Still a popular and economical option is the Roller or Solar shade. This shade is very versatile and is available in many different style options. There are tassels, bottom treatments, and more to make this shade look as casual or tailored as you desire it to be. A roller shade is generally used to block more light and is offered in many fashion forward fabric choices that you can tailor the opacity and look to your style and taste. A solar shade is used for privacy and light control, but it also can allow you to enjoy the outdoor view during the day. This shade has a more open weave fabric that allows varying levels of transparency while protecting from the UV rays. All these shades have many design options, ranging from valances and lift systems to sliding panels for large openings that are made of the same fabrics. There are even options for exterior use, like for outside patios!


Shutters are a more permanent option and can increase the value of your home. Hunter Douglas shutters are made from real hardwood, wood hybrid, or poly-satin resin. Shutters are an investment. They last nearly forever and are very durable. Often people shy away from shutters because they have been told they are very expensive, which they can be, but there are some very reasonable price points and the design options are numerous. Custom shapes like circles and arches are available which allows you to cover windows to patio doors and everything in between. Shutters are classic and never get old, but they need an experienced professional to get the best fit for your home.

Natural Shades

Natural shades are made from reeds, grasses, bamboo, and other natural materials to produce a casual textured and interesting window covering. They raise up into soft folds or can be made as a vertical product for large openings. This is a different look from the more structured shades we usually see. Several different lifts systems are available for this shade as well, both corded and power.

Other Options

Other window treatment options include vertical blinds, as well as mini blinds in multiple styles and price points. We also offer custom drapes, cornices, valances, and roman shades from Graber.

Blue Jay Paint and Blinds is a full service dealer and we are dedicated to helping you find the ideal window fashions for your home. Our free at home design consultation includes a free measure for your window treatments. Expert installation of your blinds and shades complete the project. With the holidays coming up now is the time to schedule an appointment with us to ensure your project is complete in time for guest’s arrival.

Window Treatments 101 (Part 1)

Blue Jay Paint and Blinds is your local resource for your interior design needs, including window treatments from trusted brands such as Hunter Douglas and Graber. Window treatments can enhance your home and offer a variety of benefits. In this first of two blog posts we will discuss the various reasons for choosing window treatments.


The terms window blinds and window shades are often used in place of one another, but what is the difference? A blind is often a hard treatment, with the ability to raise and lower, but also has vanes that can be tilted to adjust the light level. Vertical blinds and wood blinds are examples of this. A shade is a soft treatment, such as a roman shade, usually made of a fabric without a vane and the ability to adjust the light level beyond raising or lowering the treatment.


Now that we know the terminology, why do people want window treatments? There are four primary reasons.

1. Light control. We want to control how, and how much light enters our home. This also includes how we deal with potentially damaging UV light.

Light control is often very dependent on the type of material we choose for our treatment. Fabrics offer different levels of opacity and that affects light transmission into the room. Fabrics can be sheer, blackout, or room darkening, and levels in between.

Sheer fabrics are used to soften light or to help lessen the views from the outside during the daytime. They can make the harsh exterior daylight less harsh and still preserve the view to the outside. Sheers can also help stop the infiltration of damaging Ultraviolet light. UV light is what fades and damages floors, fabrics, artwork, etc. Sheer fabric is offered on many treatments and can even be combined with opaque fabrics to produce a more versatile treatment.

Room darkening or blackout fabrics often use a liner behind a more translucent fabric to minimize light infiltration. Usually this gets used in bedrooms or media rooms where we want as little light as possible when the shades are closed.

The bulk of fabrics we use are somewhere in between sheer and room darkening. There are many levels of opacity that are available. We choose different fabrics and colors based on taste, but we need to take the opacity into account when we decide so that we are satisfied with how much light we are allowing in.

2. Privacy. This couples with light control because it is going to affect the choice of treatment we use depending on how much we allow the outside world to look in at us.

Everyone has a different level of what privacy means to them and that needs to be taken into consideration when choosing a shade. For that reason you might not want to put a sheer on your bathroom window, but there are shades that you can do that on and still maintain privacy. A consideration that people sometime forget is that a fabric that works well for use during the daytime might not fulfill the level of privacy expected when it is dark outside and the interior lights are on. This couples with light control because we are controlling the light out from the home instead of in. We have to decide how much of a night time view in to the home when the lights are on is acceptable, be it simply visible shadows or no shadows at all.

3. Energy efficiency. Window treatments can help to make windows more energy efficient by insulating the window to varying degrees, depending on the treatment.

Energy efficiency is a great reason for window treatments. It has been estimated that we can lose up to 50% of heating and cooling energy through windows. Either by stopping the sun from heating up a room in the summer or by insulating the window from heat loss in the winter, treatments can help conserve energy. Hunter Douglas now has an app for their motorized offerings that allow you to raise or lower the blinds automatically during the day to control how solar heat enters the home during different times of the day.

4. Aesthetics. People want to dress up their windows. It’s a preference for design and often finishes the look of the room. This is why window treatments are sometimes referred to as window fashions.


One of the more confusing parts of window treatments is the operating system or the “lift systems”. It gets to be confusing because of the many options available and Hunter Douglas and Graber each has different names for their system. It basically boils down to corded, cordless, and power. Corded means that there is a cord of some kind that makes the blind move. Cordless blinds move by using your hand directly on the window blind’s bottom rail to operate it. Power usually is battery operated with a remote. A cord is often the standard lift system available for window blinds and shades and that may not be the right option for your application. Hunter Douglas and Graber are both very committed to child and pet safety. Many precautions have been built in to the lift systems, both corded and cordless, to keep everyone safe and happy. It is important to have the conversation about what system is best for you.


So what other considerations do we need to take into account before choosing a window treatment? Clearly personal style is a major motivator for what we choose, but we also need to think technically because the shade has to fit in a specific space. Where does the treatment need to mount, inside the window frame or outside of it? What size does the window treatment need to be? Is there enough room? Will the treatment interfere with the operation of a handle or knob? Will there be light gaps that are unsatisfactory? These important considerations can be best addressed by your window treatment professional. Here at Blue Jay Paint and Blinds in Lake Zurich we are trained to help make sure your project goes perfectly.

We hope you found the basics of window treatments informative. In our next blog post we will discuss some of the different style options available in window blinds, shades, and shutters from Hunter Douglas and Graber.

Perk Up Your Curb Appeal!

Spring has arrived and it is time to start exterior cleanup from the winter. Now is the time to take stock of how the exterior of your home looks. Whether you are getting ready to put your home on the market or are going to remain living there for many years to come, there are simple fixes to make the property look better. Many of these do not cost a bunch of money either. We tend to get house blind, unless the shutters are hanging loose or the roof has a big hole, and we don’t really look closely at the outside most of the time. Maybe you go in through the garage and only get out on the porch to pick up the UPS deliveries. Let’s face it, homes are a big and sometimes overwhelming responsibility and little things can add up when we have other priorities in our busy lives. Here are some projects that can be done to spruce up your home and increase that curb appeal.

Start with the really simple stuff first. Do your gutters have plants growing in them or are your windows all spotty from the winter? Spending a day or a weekend cleaning up the outside of the home early in the spring can give big results. These clean ups can head off future problems as well. Backed up gutters can ruin roofs or worse. Nailing that loose siding board down can ward off pest infestations or rot. We all wash our cars, our clothes, the dishes, and so on, but who has washed the outside of their home? It gets dirty just like everything else. Dingy siding can be cleaned with Benjamin Moore’s multi- purpose exterior cleaner and a low pressure power wash. The life of the coating on siding can be greatly extended by simply cleaning it every couple of years. Don’t forget those sidewalks, walkways, and driveways either. High pressure washing isn’t necessary in most cases, but you will want to use a cleaner because the water alone is not enough. With any tool, you should observe all standard precautions. With a power washer you don’t want to aim it directly at glass or electrical outlets. Use a wide fan tip and a glancing blow from about 12 to 18 inches away to avoid damaging the surfaces. We rent power washers and accessories and we are happy to walk you through how to use them so that your project is a success.

Once the siding is clean, it is time to really step back and look at the exterior of your house. Many homes still have the original brass hardware or house numbers still in place. It is usually badly tarnished or worse yet, peeling. This is an eyesore that can be fixed cheaply. House numbers can be replaced or taken down and spray painted. The light fixtures can also be primed and painted. They need to be cleaned and masked off, and of course, shut off the electricity before working on them. Satin black is always a classic look for these items, but you can also use a metallic color for a more modern look. A little investment of time can really make a difference on these small yet important detail items.

Upgrading the front door is another great way to boost your curb appeal. Does the door look shabby and worn? Is the coating peeling? Does it just disappear into the siding and not stand out? The door is usually the first thing that someone coming to your home is going to see up close. The front door is the house’s calling card. It is a great area for a pop of color to draw interest. The traditional black, dark green, and red are all fine, but it can be updated with new colors to still work with your homes existing siding and trim. Some of the new Benjamin Moore colors that would work great for doors are Fiery Opal 077 (bright but not overpowering, good with darker siding and can pick up the color of red brick), 2078-20 Raspberry Glaze (a pinkier red, lighter than the traditional fire engine red, bright pop with pale siding, strong enough for a darker siding color), 290 Fresh Butter (this paler honey yellow works great against wood tone sidings or even the weathered wood look), 2054-60 Old Pickup Blue (this pale blue works great against a lighter siding while still providing color), 2147-30 Jalapeno (this color takes us away from the traditional dark green and spices it up, the lively color pairs well with lighter siding),and  CW-405 Damask Gold (darker that the fresh butter, it provides more pop and evokes the colors of fall.). Traditionally shutters are matched to the front door, but in the case of these colors, you would probably choose a more neutral color for the shutters. You can also coordinate flowers for the porch or deck to match with the front door color. This adds a more unified decorator look.

If you have decided to paint the front door then usually  you remove the lockset. Even if you don’t, now is the time to look at the hardware. Is the finish worn off? Does the lock and handle work smoothly? Remember that the lock set is the first mechanical piece a potential home buyer encounters. If the locks on the front door don’t work right, then what else has been neglected? Replacing these will be more costly than a bit of paint but consider these the jewelry of the house. I had a friend that was an accomplished flipper. He was very frugal on his flips, but he would spend money on making absolutely sure the locks and handles on all the doors and windows worked flawlessly and looked good. It always paid off for him because buyers would often comment how everything seemed to work well in his houses. It is a small detail, but who wants to fight with locks that don’t work right or doors that won’t close easily? When painting the exterior light fixtures you could color coordinate with the new lock and handle set to really bring it all together.

After assessing your door take a look at the porch or stoop. The concrete or wood surface can be painted to match or contrast the home’s exterior. It really cleans up a normally nondescript area. You can even get a bit fancy and paint it to resemble tile or paint a fake runner down the center in a contrasting color. A bit of paint and some work are all that is required to brighten up this area. While you are at it, make sure the railings are in good shape. Fixing a loose rail now can help prevent larger repairs in the future.

There are a few larger projects that may require a professional’s help. One of these is the trim and gutters. When I make deliveries to my contractors, I will look at the houses in the neighborhood.  Many of the homes have siding that looks okay, but the trim looks awful. It is dirty or has stains coming out from the wood below. Many of these homes are 5 or 10 years old and still have the builder’s coat of paint on the trim and it is getting a little worn out even though the siding is still all right. Sometimes cleaning will make this trim look good again but most of the time it needs a refresh. Exterior trim in our area tends to be rough sawn cedar. Often that type of trim is not actually painted but has a solid color stain applied to it. This type of stain is a very low sheen finish that is a fully opaque product but allows the texture of the wood to come through. It is generally applied in two coats and a primer usually is not required but will be needed for areas of bare wood or if bleeding staining is present. We carry several types of stain with Benjamin Moore’s Arborcoat as our top performing exterior product. A trim job, as the painters often call it, is a lot less than painting a whole house. Usually you can contract the painter to power wash the entire house for a little extra money since they will need to clean the trim before painting it anyway. Make sure the contract includes re-caulking any loose or failing seams as well.

Another project that can be a larger investment is shutters. You see these homes that look fine, but the shutters are faded and worn out looking. Shutters can be painted but you have to make sure they are paintable. You can see if a shutter is paintable by carefully removing one from the house. They are usually secured by 4 long screws. If the shutter is a thinner plastic and the same color on the back as it is on the front, then they are not paintable. These are the less expensive varieties and are not meant to be painted and they have to be replaced. If the back is a different color or if the shutter is of the heavy fiberglass variety, then those can be painted. They can be painted in place carefully. They need to be cleaned and masked off from the siding, and then 2 coats of exterior paint can be applied. The best choice for shutters is either the Moorgard low lustre or Moorglo soft gloss paint by Benjamin Moore. These 100% acrylic finishes are formulated to adhere to worn or less prepared exterior surfaces.

Landscaping can be a large project as well but is a definite boost to your curb appeal. From a smaller perspective we need to look at any landscaping that is causing problems to the house itself. Are there branches that are rubbing the siding? Are the bushes so close that the siding can’t dry out? Are the branches of the trees so close to the roof that they act as bridges for the local wildlife? Often times simply pruning back the landscaping can help prevent problems like rotting and peeling siding. Too many times I have gone out to look at a project and the shrubs are right against the house and the painter can’t even set up a ladder, let alone get to the siding. If the siding is constantly damp rot easily sets in and you don’t even see it. Trimming up the plants will help to keep things tidy and also lets you keep an eye on the exterior of the house. Also, keep the mulch off of the siding. It traps moisture and looks unsightly when the rain bounces it up on to the siding. If you have overgrown mature landscaping, maybe it is time to call a landscaper to remove it. We see many beautiful homes obscured by old shrubs, trees, and hedges that have simply gotten too big to prune into a good shape anymore. They become a distraction from the home and ruin the look. Consider replacing these with new species that complement the house. A good nursery center will have design services to help pick what works for your exposure and tastes.

As with paint, plants can add color and interest to your home. Adding some small plantings to the front of the house can really add interest. Consider a stone or block border to build up a planting bed that can be filled with perennials for an easily maintained pop of color. You can add annuals in to the mix in order to get instant color since it takes time for perennials to establish and mature. These areas can be built up over time from simple to elaborate. The biggest thing to remember is to keep it manageable, because if it isn’t, then you end up with the overgrown mess you probably removed in the first place. I’m a fan of perennials because they are easy to care for and just require some occasional love to keep them healthy and under control. They do the rest themselves.

There are many simple fixes to make your house look great and boost your curb appeal. Many are easy, but overlooked, like power washing. Others are more labor intensive but really give big results. In any case, a little exterior maintenance can go a long way to not only beautify your home but to preserve it and your investment in it. Stop in any time at Blue Jay Paint and Blinds for more solutions or advice on your personal curb appeal project.

Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose!

Painting kitchen cabinets and refinishing older furniture are easy DIY projects that can produce big returns. Preparation is the foundation for a successful result and the first step is to clean the surface. Dish soap, like Dawn, and water work great for degreasing and stripping wax off of stained and painted surfaces. It is mild and rinses off easily. Tri sodium phosphate (TSP) is not recommended since it can leave residue if not rinsed completely and can cause the paint not to adhere. Make sure to use a soft bristle scrub brush and get into the corners and tight areas where dirt can build up. Once the surface is clean and allowed to dry, a light scuff sanding in the direction of the woodgrain is best for promoting adhesion. Liquid sandpaper is not recommended since it can sometimes interfere with adhesion. Just make sure to scuff the surface and not to sand through the existing coating. Now you can repair any damage with wood filler and fill in the old knob and handle screw holes if you are going to replace the hardware. Remove any sanding dust with a tack rag and get ready to prime.

The best tool for painting furniture and cabinets is the mini roller system. Using the microfiber rollers with this tool will not only get the job done fast, usually without the use of a brush, but this roller can give a beautiful smooth and sprayed-like finish! For priming, we use Stix waterborne bonding primer by Insul-x. This is a low odor, high adhesive primer that bonds to most anything, including laminates. On older stained wood sometimes the stain will bleed through a waterborne primer. When this occurs we switch to a white shellac based primer like Zinsser’s BIN primer. This will block any bleeding stains from coming through the paint. When painting doors or shelves that are not attached to the cabinet, it is best to coat the backs or bottoms first then flip them over to do the face side. When the primer is dry it can be lightly sanded with fine grit sanding pads to help flatten the surface and remove any applicator marks. This is an optional step but will make a smoother final finish. Multiple coats of primer is not needed for adhesion, but with sanding between each coat it can help mask the texture of hardwood grain such as oak. Just don’t sand all the way through the primer and don’t forget to dust with the tack rag!

The finish coat is last and there are many to choose from. Benjamin Moore’s Advance is a great choice. It is a low VOC, waterborne oil based product which gives a smooth finish with no applicator marks, cleans up with soap and water, and is very tough and durable. A note of caution, as with any product with an oil based resin, it will yellow slightly over time. If you want a white finish that stays white, then we recommend using Cabinet Coat by Insul-x or Ultra Waterborne by Muralo Paint. All of these finishes are very tough and do not require a top coat of polyurethane or wax , since they are hard enough on their own to withstand heavy use. Two coats of finish are recommended for best results, and light sanding between coats is optional, but will help produce the smoothest, factory-look finish possible. Once the finish has dried, any decorative painting or glazing can be done to the surface. Get some new decorative hardware, line the drawers or boxes, and now you have a new piece of furniture or set of cabinets to use in your home for the price of some paint and a weekend’s worth of time! Remember, all coatings take some time to cure to their final hardness, so be gentle with your newly painted piece for a few weeks after painting.

Repurposing and recycling can be cheaper than buying new and gives life to older cabinets and furniture. It’s easier than you think! Blue Jay Paint and Blinds has all the supplies you need and we can help you with advice and suggestions to make your project perfect.


How to “Try On” Paint

Blue Jay Paint Color Samples

Often customers ask us why they should buy a pint sample to test out their color before buying the paint for their project. We ask them if they would buy a shirt without trying it on first! Much as an ill-fitting garment ruins an outfit, a color chosen in haste can ruin a room. It is very difficult to visualize the true nature of a color from a small chip. Combine the size issue with the fact that most chips are printed with ink and not painted and the difficulty increases. Actual paint is the best way to “try on” a color in a space. To fill this need Benjamin Moore introduced the sample pint program. Paint samples are available in over 3,500 colors, as well as many competitors’ colors, in both interior and exterior finishes. We recommend the sample be painted on plastic sample sheets, foam core board, or spare drywall. Poster board is not recommended because it can absorb too much paint, throwing the color off, and it will curl up and not stay flat. It is very important to sample the color on a separate board and not directly on the wall of your home. This allows the sample to be moved around the room in order to see how the color will pick up the light differently, since lighting affects color dramatically. It also allows you to see the color away from the current wall color, which can influence the perception of the color that is being sampled. Samples painted directly on the walls can also occasionally be seen as patches under the fresh paint job, requiring another coat of paint to mask their appearance. Two coats over white boards is recommended and the pint sample will provide more than enough to cover. Blue Jay Paint and Blinds stocks all the Benjamin Moore sample pints, boards, and disposable rollers necessary to sample your new paint color. Come by today and “try on” a new look!