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Fine Paints of Europe

Historically, European painters have been looked at as true artisans.  Continuing that artistic concept, people in Europe still take pride in the painting of their homes.  They choose painters who will not only provide lasting quality to their homes but will also exhibit, showcase, and accentuate their beauty and architectural designs through painting by experienced and reputable professionals.

In 1987 Fine Paints of Europe introduced Dutch enamels to America, a product with no fillers or extenders and three times more colorant than domestic paint. Imported from Holland, this colorant is a paste formulated from the finest ingredients, resulting in amazing and lasting coverage and rich colors.  Indeed, this is a luxury product sought after by discriminating homeowners who want to highlight their homes and/or the architectural history of their unique designs and who desire the lasting beauty and distinctive color Fine Paints of Europe provides. 

Below are some photos of our latest Fine Paints of Europe projects. Enjoy!  

Images Below:  High-gloss Fine Paints of Europe were applied to a stairwell.

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Images Below: Black  Fine Paints of Europe with a Satin sheen were applied to the windows.

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One of Our Favorite Stain Projects!

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French Quarter Green: Where did it come from and why is it such a traditional color for New Orleanians?

As painting contractors we are always up to speed with color trends—this is how we know what the popular colors are at all times.  These popular colors spread out like wild fires. I am not really sure how people all over town seem to shift towards the same color schemes, but they go through collective phases without even knowing it.  I don’t think this is intentional; I guess that is why it is called a trend.
In New Orleans, however, people have very deep-rooted traditions–even when it comes to their color choices.  French Quarter Green is one of those traditions that has been around for a very long time in spite of the popular color trends that come and go. But why and where did it come from?
We decided to contact Julia Street with Poydras the Parrot from New Orleans Magazine, and this is Poydras’ response:

Our question: Dear Julia, 
My wife and I own and run a construction company here in New Orleans. Often, clients request the paint color “French Quarter Green” (sometimes called Paris green) for the shutters on their homes and businesses. I have heard two different accounts about the origin of this traditional color. The first is that during World War II there was a shortage of paint and only three colors were produced: white, black and green. People in New Orleans loved the green color, but many couldn’t afford to buy green paint whenever they needed it. What they did, therefore, was mix together leftover green paint with leftover black paint.

The other version of the origin is once again focused on hard times when people who couldn’t necessarily afford to buy a particular “Paris green” paint at the store would gather together left over paint from other projects, mix them together and French Quarter Green was what developed from the mix – mostly colors mixed with black paint. Is there any truth to these accounts of how our unique French Quarter Green became a traditional, often-requested and sometimes-required color? 

Their answer: 

More than 40 years ago, the Vieux Carré Commission and the Sherwin Williams paint company teamed up to study historic paint samples gathered throughout the French Quarter. As a result, Sherwin Williams produced a locally inspired color palette. The company later reformulated their paints but, in 2003, introduced a new line of 22 colors similar to those documented in historic French Quarter paint samples. 

Having established that a major paint company produces a line of New Orleans colors, including a special dark green, I have to break the news to you: dark blackish-green shutters are not unique to New Orleans and never have been. Without question, dark green was the preferred shutter color for homes throughout 19th-century America and elsewhere. In some cases, green shutters were used to complement nature and harmonize with household gardens, but not everybody embraced the color scheme for that reason.

Since pre-mixed paints weren’t yet the norm, tradespeople usually mixed their own, either improvising or following specific recipes. In New Orleans and elsewhere, house paint was mixed when and where it was needed. While it’s certainly true that, during wartime and hard times, consumers improvised as best they could with all aspects of housekeeping, “French Quarter Green” was not a wartime or Depression-era creation.

Modern paint may look like its historic counterpart but, chemically, it’s quite different. Traditional 19th-century green shutter paint darkened with exposure to the elements and got its color from the toxic substance copper arsenate, a chemical relative of arsenic. Modern paint is more colorfast and less toxic.
For access to the full article please follow this link: http://www.myneworleans.com/New-Orleans-Magazine/September-2010/Julia-Street-with-Poydras-the-Parrot/

The Longue Vue House and Gardens–Preservation Through Painting! 

See Jason below (1998) on one of his first exterior restoration jobs at Longue Vue House and Gardens in New Orleans, Louisiana, a perfect example of experience and care from the beginning.

Longue Vue

For this historic house/museum restoration project, preservation of the building and its collections was the number one priority.

Exterior painting in general requires considerable planning and proper allocation of resources to ensure the durability and preservation of historic and non-historic homes alike.

Tips for Achieving a Quality Exterior Painting/Restoration Job

Your Exterior Painting Project:

The secret behind preserving the exterior architectural integrity of a historic (or any) home relies on the quality of the prep work performed and the products used. As a matter of a fact, a quality prep job is crucial to ensure the durability and longevity of your exterior painting project and will account for more than 50% of the total scope of work—applying the paint is the fun part.

Prepping your surfaces step-by-step:

1. Fully clean all the surfaces that will be repainted. Pressure washing is the best way to get rid of any chalky residue left behind by old paint.
2. Once all surfaces are properly cleaned, it is time for the most labor-intensive phase of any exterior painting project. A quality sanding and removal of all peeling paint are essential to ensure the durability of the paint job as a whole.
3. Repair any rotten wood with exterior two-part epoxy, and, in more severe cases, replace the rotten wood all together.

Should you use cheap paint?

NO. At Jason Bertoniere Painting Contractor, we believe in using the best products money can buy. Although with interior painting where—depending on the project—one might be able to get away with less expensive products, using cheap paint on exterior work will translate into a second paint job much, much sooner than anyone would want. Buying the best exterior paint and supplies in the market is a must. Whatever money you are saving now, you will end up having to spend triple that in the long run. Remember fixing is more costly than doing it right the first time.

How long can you expect an exterior job to last?

This is a tricky question. Weather is a house’s worst enemy. The location of your house will have great impact on the longevity of your exterior paint job. With that said, a good/quality exterior paint job should last at least ten years. After ten years it is common to start seeing signs of deterioration, in some cases more so than others.

How to maintain an exterior paint job looking its best?

1. The best way to maintain an exterior paint job looking its best is by—ready for this—simply maintaining it. After doing numerous exterior paint jobs, we have come to find that hosing your house with some sort of mild detergent, or, for better results, pressure washing every 12 to 18 months or so will help keep up the paint job on your house, especially if you see mildew or mold.

2. We always tell our clients to keep an eye out for any sort of peeling paint. At the first sign of paint peeling, a little scraping, spot priming and repainting will work wonders.

3. Once every two years or so spend one day going around your home looking for problem areas (things that you would not be able to fix yourself) and have a painting contractor fix it right away. This will be a minimal cost to you that will pay great returns in the long run.

What is the short note?

1. Prepare all of your exterior surfaces so that they are clean, dull and dry
2. Use the best products available and apply them per manufacture’s recommendations
3. Perform regular maintenance

These three things are your best bet in achieving and keeping your exterior paint job rock-solid and looking beautiful longer. The last thing to keep in mind is that you never want to cut corners when it comes to exterior painting.