Does walking through your cottage leave you feeling a little blah? The view is still lovely, but there’s something missing.
The living room is dark, the kitchen has paint accents from a bygone era, the Muskoka room is uninviting, and it just needs a little… something.
That something may be a professional paint job to refresh and invigorate the place, says Tori Evans, owner of Evans Painting and Decorating.
“People often don’t understand just how much paint can change the look of a room or the feel of a space,” says Tori, who started the business in 2013. “We’ll go into a place and it’s dark and gloomy, then we paint it and it’s like a whole new building.”
Tori and her team really enjoy these big transformations, where the difference from before to after is extreme. The first time she experienced this, she was a high school student with a summer painting job. That feeling led her to grow her skills and eventually start her own business.
No matter the age of the structure, Tori and her team still marvel at the way the right colours in the right place can bring new life to a home or cottage. “We do it every day, but there are times where even we are blown away by the change.”
Those stark alterations are even more evident when exactly the right colours and tones are selected. While white interiors have been a popular choice for many years, it’s the subtones that make a difference.
“There is no such thing as plain white,” explains Tori. “Cloud white, which has a bit of yellow in it, used to be the popular pick, however that’s been replaced by drastic bright white tones such as Chantilly Lace and Snow White.”
While interiors are likely to continue to be super light, on the exteriors there is a growing range of options. “Black on black and other dark colours are still the most popular for exteriors,” she says. “However, we have been getting more requests than usual for bright white on exteriors as well, which wasn’t a trendy choice in previous years.”
When it comes to exterior painting, of course, it’s important to take weather into account. The ideal conditions for painting are warm enough, dry, and above all, consistent.
Starting to paint too early in the spring can be detrimental, and not just because of spring showers. Wide temperature swings at night can cause heavy dew and condensation to form, reducing the effectiveness of the paint or delaying the project.
Though Muskoka is rarely consistently dry, Tori uses her expertise to judge the best times for completing projects. To achieve the best results and maximize the longevity of the paint, the Evans team considers curing times and how colder temperatures at night can cause dew or frost.
In terms of temperature, Tori prefers to stick to the traditional view of painting when it’s 10 degrees Celsius or higher. While there are products on the market that can be effective as low as two degrees Celsius, she says a dry atmosphere is essential for the paint to reach peak performance.
“It can’t be damp or dewy,” says Tori. “What people don’t realize is moisture is absorbed in their cottage’s materials, specifically wood, and that can have a knock-on adverse effect on the new paint application.”
In Muskoka, with extreme weather swings in all four seasons, painters must be more aware of the environment than in most other places.
The ideal approach is to complete interior work from late fall to early spring, when the weather outside is cold and damp. That has the added advantage of letting the painters work when the cottage owners are away – after all, it’s important to not hinder the enjoyment of the property.
“We’ll have the project completed before you return and you’ll be amazed by the transformation,” says Tori.
Preparation is key
Tori also notes that 90 per cent of a successful project is seen in the work done before the paint is poured.
Old paint may need to be stripped, surfaces sanded, and everything cleaned thoroughly before the first drop of new paint is applied.
“Everything in the building must also be protected,” says Tori. “From cautiously moving furniture to a safe place to commercial grade drop cloths on floors, and other protective measures, we make sure that only the areas needing paint are left exposed.”
It’s this attention to detail that professionals bring to every project. They have the knowledge and tools needed to bring your transformation dreams into reality.
TEXT CHRIS OCCHIUZZI | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN