Expert Tips For Creating Color

Unifying rooms in your home can pose a challenge when you’re trying to choose the right paint colors. Don’t stress – here are a few tips to help you create a pleasing color flow from one area of your home to the next.

Bold Accents

Have your heart set on a bold color, but don’t want to overdo it? Use it as your primary color in one room, and as an accent color in the adjoining room to tie them together.

Neutral Walls

Want a wall color that will stand the test of time? Neutrals remain independent of style and trend, making them just right for anyone who wants a look that’s long-lasting and will carry throughout your home.

Entrance Halls

The foyer makes a great first impression when using a dramatic darker color in the entranceway, and a lighter color in the background. The contrast will make your living space seem more open and spacious when you walk in.

Trim Techniques

Trying to create harmony between a main room and an open stairway? Painting all of the trim the same color will make it work.

Remember, no matter what your tastes are, from romantic to rustic, and bright to neutral. There is always way to add just the right amount of color to your home.

How to Choose Colors

Begin at the Beginning
Determine what features or existing finishes in the room you would consider permanent. Consider the cabinets, tile or a brick fireplace. For example, if the wood of your kitchen cabinets has a red undertone, make sure the paint color you choose works well with that hue.

Create a Focal Point
Emphasize your home’s attractive architectural features, such as crown molding or arched window treatments, with contrasting paint – lighter or darker than the wall – or by painting them with a glossy finish. You can also make one wall an accent wall by painting it a different color, giving it a faux finish, adding wallpaper or a border.

Emphasize or Minimize
Color can emphasize certain features – and minimize others. A long narrow room will look wider if you use a slightly darker color on the shorter walls and a lighter color on the longer walls. You can make a ceiling appear higher by applying a lighter color, or lower with a darker color. To give a big room a more intimate feel, paint the walls in colors that advance toward you, such as red, gold, orange and brown. To help a small room seem larger, paint the walls in colors that make them appear to recede, such as blue, green or violet.

Reflect on Light Sources
Remember that the color you choose may look different at various times of the day and night. The warm tones of incandescent lights will have a different influence on the color than the natural light of day. Once you’re aware of how different light sources can affect your color choices, you can change your room’s “mood” to match the pace of your day.


Spruce Up Your Kitchen for the Holidays

Staying home this holiday is the general theme for this season. People are trying new things and old traditions are getting virtual makeovers. So, if you have to stay home for the holidays, why not give the most lived in room in the house a fresh look. Your kitchen gets beat-up day-after-day…spills, splatters, scratches and dents…there IS hope for a quick fix.

Renew and update your kitchen colors with new warm earthy tones and textures. We can hand paint cabinets on site with fine nap rollers and detail brushes for a professional finish at a reasonable cost. With new bonding primers we can paint wood, wood-laminate, and metal cabinets without any problems. Semi-gloss/gloss finishes are easy to clean and reflect light which will make your kitchen look larger and brighter.

If you do not want to apply color to all of your cabinets, try painting just the bottom ones or just your island. Adding color to your trim or ceiling can also give an old space, new life. Accent paints are also available like chalkboard paint. Adding chalkboard paint to the sides of a cabinet or section of wall can be just the function and fun touch you have been looking for. Another easy way to update your kitchen is by changing, painting or adding a kitchen backsplash. It will not only protect the walls from grease and water, but it adds to the style of your work area.

If your outdated white refrigerator is still in good working order but has some wear and tear, consider painting it black. We use a semi-gloss enamel finish that hides rust and scratches, updates the finish and even prevents finger prints.

So, stop wishing for a way to refresh your kitchen without spending a ton on renovations. The answer is painting!

Transform your Garage with Paint

Is your garage a cluttered mess? Are you struggling to find room for work, school & exercise as COVID restrictions continue and winter approaches? Well, you may have a new/valuable living space right in your backyard!

Converting your garage into a usable living space can add up to 600 square feet, assuming you have a two-car garage. The good news is that you’ll spend less than if you build an addition, it will take less time and a lot can be done with some cleaning, decluttering and paint! Simply painting floors, walls and ceilings will make your space look better, be easier to clean and make the inside of your garage look finished and decorated.

In general, neutral colors like gray, beige or tan will be easier to maintain. Also, a semigloss paint will make dirt less evident and is easy to clean. When choosing a garage floor paint, waterproof, oil and chemical resistant options are available. Remember, much like basements, garages can be a little damper than the rest of your home. To avoid mold and mildew, use moisture blocking paint. As far as color, if you want to hide tire marks and stains, choose a darker color.

You can transform your garage quickly from a damp, dirty storage space to a bright, dry usable part of your home that you can actually enjoy.

Home school? Working from home? The color of your environment may help productivity!

Colors are all around us! They are part of all aspects of our daily lives and a big part of how we learn and remember things. Red means stop. Green means go. Colors send signals to our brains that make us hungry or sleepy. They can help us focus or distract.

According to a study by the University of British Columbia, certain colors can help concentration, attention span or help facilitate memory and learning. This study found that red and blue colors are the best for improving brain function. Red helps draw attention to important things. It can be stimulating, but can also cause nervousness and hunger. While blue seems to increase productivity. It is a “cool” color and actually can cause the body to produce chemicals that can slow down a your heart rate and relax/focus you.

Some research suggests that people doing intellectual work, are more productive in a blue environment. However, to “warm-up” a blue room, you should always balance it with warmer colors like yellow or orange.

A person’s age also impacts how color effects their learning environment. For instance, young children are more attracted to warm, bright colors, elementary-aged children prefer tints and pastels, middle school children like greens and blues, while high school students prefer darker colors like burgundy, gray, navy, dark green, and violet.

Although many families can’t afford to renovate their homes for school or work, they CAN redecorate. A fresh coat of the right color paint may help make you and your children more productive!

Cedar Shingle Stain

Is it better to paint or stain cedar shingles?

Cedar shingles offer a unique charm to a home.  They are incredibly durable and resistant to rot and insects and, when properly installed and cared for, can protect your house for decades.   However, many homeowners wonder how to renew their cedar homes.  Over time the shingles gray and must be coated to assure the best protection.  So, the debate begins, whether to use paint or stain.

The fundamental difference between paint and stain is the way it adheres to the cedar.  Paint is a pigmented, opaque (solid color) coating that comes in almost any color, and acts as a coating applied over the shingles.  It completely covers the old wood and lets less grain of the wood grain show through. Since the paint “sits” on the surface of the shingles, it will eventually peel and need to be scraped and reapplied.  It’s important to note that after shingles are painted, they cannot be stained unless the paint is sanded or has worn off completely, which is cost-prohibitive.

Stain has less pigment and is more translucent.  It allows some of the wood’s original color and grain to show through.  If the shingles are porous, the stain will soak into the wood rather than coat it, making it last longer than paint.  Stains penetrate the cedar, and help to make it resist moisture from rain, snow, and ice.  Stains are available in semi-transparent or solid-color forms.  Semi-transparent stains have a light pigmentation enhancing the wood’s natural color, and solid-color stains offer heavier coverage and resembles a flat paint that is monochromatic.

So, which is it? Paint or stain?  The best answer is based on your home’s current cedar condition.  Stain lasts longer and often looks more natural, but can only be applied if cedar is paint-free.  Paint offers more protection and can be a good choice for badly worn homes with previous peeling issues from past painting applications.

Before making your decision, walk around your home with your painting contractor.  Here is a checklist to help you get started:

  • Look under the eaves and in the shaded areas of your home to discover the original material applied. Sometimes old cans of paint or stain can be found in basements and garages to gain knowledge of the past supplies used.
  • Do a test cleaning and see how well the current stain or paint will come off on worn and protected areas.
  • Discuss if you want a solid color or if you want to see the wood’s color variations.
  • Examine the cedar to assess repairs and discuss types of cedar you would like to use. Generally, there are two options:  Grades A and B (knots or no knots).  Please note that newly installed cedar will have less grain than older cedar, it will not look the same or absorb stain or paint equally.
  • Remove old brackets, cable, and phone lines that are not in use.
  • Discuss caulking needs.  Some cedar homes are caulked, while others are not.  If you currently do not have caulk, it is better not to.  When cedar is installed correctly, it is meant to breathe!

It is vital to mention that you should inspect cedar every spring for water and sun damage.  Areas under gutters and around dormers or roof lines may need a touch-up.  This is perfectly acceptable.  Your painting contractor can touch-up areas that wear out the quickest, helping to avoid costly repairs.  In most cases, you will only need to touch up the shady side of the home, and stain the sunny side every 7-10 years.

WE HAVE THE CURE FOR YOUR PPPSS! (Post Pandemic Paint Season Syndrome)

I’m sure you are seeing the signs of it now… as you see your kids bouncing off your walls (literally) , you have wiped things down so many times the paint is actually wearing off, you can’t stand the colors that you loved so much a few weeks ago… AND it is only going to get worse!

However, if you prepare now, you will become immune to PPPSS (Post Pandemic Paint Season Syndrome) . Some people will ignore this warning and think once quarantines are a distant memory, scheduling painting with qualified painters will be easy. Think again!


  1. Schedule an estimates NOW for interior and exterior painting, staining, and power washing, to be completed AFTER quarantine regulations have been lifted.
  2. Exterior Estimate will be completed with COMPLETE social distancing/NO CONTACT.
  3. Interior Estimates will be conducted via sending us your pictures and measurements or virtual review.
  4. No deposits. Just a signed contract.
  5. Work will be scheduled on a first come, first served basis with names going on a wait list after estimate is completed.
  6. Plus, take advantage of our 10.9% off (COVID-19 SUCKS) discount.

COVID-19 Updates

A Note to Our Valued Customers,

As has always been our mission, our efforts are aimed to ensure that your experience with us is worry free. Guaranteed. To that end, during thisunprecedented time, Hands On Painters, Inc. is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 situation as it evolves and fully understand the concerns associated with transmission.

Since it is the season for painting outdoors, we wanted you to know that for exterior paint projects all estimating, inspecting, measuring, and evaluating – can be done outside of your home without one-on-one contact.

Regardless of what type of work you need, should you wish to meet with us in person, we will respect your space and your time. We can meet with you for as brief a time as you choose, or for as long as is necessary. Our staff will always respect your personal space.

Communication throughout your project can be done electronically via phone, e-mail, or video chat. Additionally we have a mail slot at our office rear entrance, should you choose to hand deliver any paperwork to us.

Additionally, Hands On Painters, Inc. is taking extra steps to ensure the safety of our customers and our staff.

What we are doing: 
• Our employees are thoroughly disinfecting our offices daily, focusing especially on high-touch common areas, and personal work spaces. Special attention is being given to our tools and vans.
• Hand sanitizers have been placed throughout our offices, work spaces, and vehicles.
• Anti-bacterial soap is available in all restrooms.
• We are requiring employees who are sick to remain home until they are well.
• We frequently conduct meetings as we are monitoring and implementing all updates and guidance available from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

We will continue to be open Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. 

Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to us directly by phone at 410-242-1737. We can also be reached via e-mail at

From our family to yours, we wish you good health and safety.
Thank you!
Jonathan ZawackiOwner/OperatorHands on Painters, Inc.

Do only what you do well

A friend in business once said to me: ‘If you don’t do the work in the office, don’t do the work in the field.’ When you run a painting company, your clients can ask for a lot more than painting. We have been asked to refinish furniture, grout tile floors, and do electrical work. “Keep It Simple, Stupid” is almost a daily mantra I repeat to myself. Every time I have wandered off course to work on something that is not in our scope and expertise, we’ve lost money. It becomes a huge headache, and worse, it can tarnish your reputation. Do what you do and do it well. It is that simple.

Jonathan Zawacki, Hands On Painters, Baltimore MD

15% Off Winter Painting

GET 15% OFF any winter interior painting service during the months of December 2019 and January, February & March 2020. (Minimum purchase $475. Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. Certain restrictions may apply, call 410-242-1737, for details.)