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Monthly Archives: September 2012

I was recently asked by a friend for assistance on his home.

During the winter a tree had fallen and done some damage

to the house.

After the damage was repaired, the house was ready for painting.

The house was a light yellow and had been painted several years ago.

(I do mean several.)

He did not know what the color of the original paint was, and did not know

What to do. He did not want to paint the whole house. He only wanted to paint the damaged part.

We took a color deck and tried to match the color that it was.

Being a yellow, the color had faded.

We had decided that it would be best to paint the whole front. Instead of touch up we went corner to corner.

We still had to decide what would be the best color chip to match. Under the eves the color had not faded as much.

The left side of the house was lighter than the right side. There would be areas no matter what we color we picked that would not be an exact match.


The best answer would be to paint the entire house. Next best thing was to paint an entire side.

When picking a color with an existing color a person needs to be aware that the color will be off on the sides.

When picking the color out you need to be aware of that and find a color that will work on both sides of the house.

If you match on side perfectly, the other side may be off more than you want.

This way you will have no surprises.


~Merle Rowland


Seems just yesterday we were seeing adds on television for “Dads and Grads” which tee off our summer.  How time flies… and you were going to paint your house this summer!  The challenge was that you have heard that painting vinyl siding is a bad idea and you never did do the research on whether or not you could actually paint it successfully.

Well, you can. And even though it’s fall there is still time to paint this year with the Indian summers we get. It’s actually better than summer weather to paint in. Usually dry with mild temperatures.

Before you jump up on that ladder there are a few things to remember.

You will obviously need the necessary supplies like brushes, rollers, drop cloths, tape, ladders and hopefully a couple of helpers.  But what is most important is prep and paint.  You will need to CLEAN the siding thoroughly, either by simply sponging it down or for dirtier jobs you’ll need to rent a power washer.  Let it dry for a few days before you attempt priming and painting.  As with any coating, the substrate condition is key for topcoat performance.

Use an acrylic paint, preferably one with a high build and good color retention like Evolution Exterior. Choose a color that is no darker than the original siding color.  The vinyl fluctuates by expanding and contracting a lot from the cold to the heat and back again, so if the color is darker it will exaggerate this action by absorbing even more heat and ultimately the siding could warp and the paint could crack.

We have all of the products, tools and tips for you to make your vinyl beautiful again.  So don’t worry, you can still paint this year!

~Melanie Gibbs


Perhaps you’re ready but are a little weary of doing something like painting all four walls?  Plus, your’e not really sure what color you would make that accent wall anyway right?  Well change it up with a few small paint projects instead

You could try painting an old chair or small table.  Find an old mirror with a frame you could easily paint.  Maybe even paint just the trim and window frames, or an interior door!

These are all fairly small and simple changes that could really make things feel new again.  With items like the chair or table, don’t be afraid to use bold colors, especially if the walls and trim are neutrals.

For items like a mirror frame or even a table lamp you could try using some faux finishing techniques and products to give them an ‘antique’ or ‘crackle’ appearance.

The fact is that you can do so many things with paint, that doesn’t involve painting your walls!  The experts at your local Miller Paint stores are here to make sure you have the right products and give you the tips and advice to be successful with whatever paint project you decide to conquer!

Happy Painting!

~Melanie Gibbs


What a difference a shade makes


Have you ever wondered why that red accent wall just doesn’t quite cover in one or two coats? Many of the colorants used to make dark reds, blues or purples; and bright colors such as yellows, oranges, and greens, contain translucent pigments. Light will reflect right through these coatings to the primer or previous coating underneath and the coating will not appear uniform until enough topcoats are applied to match this reflectance. Sometimes, that can mean three, four or even five coats of your accent color.

Miller Paint has a series of gray primers that are specifically designed to match the reflectance value of your accent color. What this means is that you can achieve a more uniform appearance and the correct color in two coats as opposed to many headache filled coats.

One main thing to remember with dark or bright accent colors is that because of the amount of pigments added to the paint, the dry time will be considerably longer than other colors. A good idea is to use two light coats instead of trying to apply one heavy coat. This will help with the dry time and allow you to finish your project sooner.

So next time you’re picking out that accent color to make your room stand out, be sure to ask your Miller Paint sales associate if your project could benefit from using a gray primer. While it may seem like an extra step, it could save you two or three coats in the end.

~ Alex @ Tigard Miller Paint




There’s nothing quite like the smell of freshly cut lavender in the summer. It is said to be stress reducing, balancing, soothing and normalizing. Lovely all year round!

The purple color of lavender is considered to be a cool color for its blue qualities, is also however creative and uplifting for its red qualities. This unique combination of warm and cool makes purple the perfect embodiment of those two colors from which it’s made.

Representing royalty and wealth in some countries, it is also the color of spirituality representing a sacred mysticism in others. Purple is versatile and can fit many environments.

Something fantastic about purple is that like blues and greens you can mix, match and combine all kinds of tints tones and shades of it in different patterns and solids and have them work beautifully together.

Come on down to your local Miller Paint store to check out the plethora of purples to play with!!

~Melanie Gibbs


Shellac Primers Help Eliminate Odors


Ok, so you’re all moved in and ready to get started decorating and organizing… but wait, what IS that smell??  You are just now realizing a smell you didn’t quite notice when you were touring the place before.  Maybe it’s smoke damage, cigarette smoke, or pet odor. When these odors get into the paint/and or floor from pets, they can be a nuisance and even problematic for those with sensitive systems and allergies.

This is something many of us have had to deal with when we move into a new home (well, new to us).

The way to seal these odors from resurfacing after repainting is the primer. Not any old primer will do. It has to be a shellac primer. Other primers just don’t do the job. While quite stinky during application, this is the product for the job if you want reliable results. Not only will this primer seal odor, but it is the best for sealing water damage, and soot from smoke damage, as well as sealing mildew stains.

Feel free to come in and visit your local Miller Paint store for more information, tips, and products you’ll need to get the job done!

~Melanie Gibbs


Want your own artwork to be shown sky-high with (literally) a bird’s eye view?  Well hurry.  Because here’s what we’re calling at Miller Paint your Golden Galaxy Opportunity.

For the 1st time in 50 years, the Space Needle is awarding a very special opportunity to the public to design artwork to grace its’ top.  Winner gets a six month showing!

You know, at Miller Paint, we know just how great it feels to be 550 feet in the air.  That’s our creation, “Galaxy Gold” up there right now in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the 1961World’s Fair here in the Emerald City.  (Big thanks to Bob Kehoe from Omega Graphics who decorates this Seattle wonder with Miller Paint every chance he gets.)

So DO doodle, but don’t dawdle…you just have until September 20th to get your artwork to the judges. We’ve included the link for you below.

PS – Oregonians have no fear, you don’t have to live in Seattle, (just be a US resident) to have your inspiration live atop the Needle for the next six months.  And if things go as usual, it will be actualized in Miller Paint.  So get going…believe me, we’re your biggest cheerleaders!

~ Catherine Alexander



What Color Are You?

In the last blog I talked about some basic emotion evoking properties of the four psychological primary colors.  There are however eleven basic colors all together. These include the secondary and the technically “non color” colors.

Imagine you’re on the beach, with your feet in the powdery white sand… in Tahiti.  You look out to the exquisitely crystal clear aqua blue and turquoise colored ocean as it fades out to the horizon and blends into the sky.  Or imagine yourself in the Gorge hiking up to the top of Multnomah Falls amongst the perfectly untouched greenery of ferns, wildflowers and hundreds of species of plant life and trees. I get feelings of quiet peace and calm serenity.  What feelings do YOU get?

It’s amazing how not even actually seeing the colors but just imaging them can also evoke a particular emotion!

Here are more psychological properties of basic colors…


Positive: Physical comfort, food, warmth, security, sensuality, passion, abundance, fun.
Negative: Deprivation, frustration, frivolity, immaturity.

Since it is a combination of red and yellow, orange is stimulating and reaction to it is a combination of the physical and the emotional. It focuses our minds on issues of physical comfort – food, warmth, shelter etc. – and sensuality. It is a ‘fun’ color. Negatively, it might focus on the exact opposite – deprivation. This is particularly likely when warm orange is used with black. Equally, too much orange suggests frivolity and a lack of serious intellectual values.

VIOLET. Spiritual.

Positive: Spiritual awareness, containment, vision, luxury, authenticity, truth, quality.
Negative: Introversion, decadence, suppression, inferiority.

The shortest wavelength is violet, often described as purple. It takes awareness to a higher level of thought, even into the realms of spiritual values. It is highly introversive and encourages deep contemplation, or meditation. It has associations with royalty and usually communicates the finest possible quality. Being the last visible wavelength before the ultra-violet ray, it has associations with time and space and the cosmos. Excessive use of purple can bring about too much introspection and the wrong tone of it communicates something cheap and nasty, faster than any other color.


Positive: Physical tranquility, nurture, warmth, femininity, love, sexuality, survival of the species.
Negative: Inhibition, emotional claustrophobia, emasculation, physical weakness.

Being a tint of red, pink also affects us physically, but it soothes, rather than stimulates. (Interestingly, red is the only color that has an entirely separate name for its tints. Tints of blue, green, yellow, etc. are simply called light blue, light green etc.) Pink is a powerful color, psychologically. It represents the feminine principle, and survival of the species; it is nurturing and physically soothing. Too much pink is physically draining and can be somewhat emasculating.


Positive: Psychological neutrality.
Negative: Lack of confidence, dampness, depression, hibernation, lack of energy.

Pure grey is the only color that has no direct psychological properties. It is, however, quite suppressive. A virtual absence of color is depressing and when the world turns grey we are instinctively conditioned to draw in and prepare for hibernation. Unless the precise tone is right, grey has a dampening effect on other colors used with it. Heavy use of grey usually indicates a lack of confidence and fear of exposure.


Positive: Sophistication, glamour, security, emotional safety, efficiency, substance.
Negative: Oppression, coldness, menace, heaviness.

Black is all colors, totally absorbed. The psychological implications of that are considerable. It creates protective barriers, as it absorbs all the energy coming towards you, and it enshrouds the personality. Black is essentially an absence of light, since no wavelengths are reflected and it can, therefore be menacing; many people are afraid of the dark. Positively, it communicates absolute clarity, with no fine nuances. It communicates sophistication and uncompromising excellence and it works particularly well with white. Black creates a perception of weight and seriousness.
It is a myth that black clothes are slimming:


Positive: Seriousness, warmth, Nature, earthiness, reliability, support.
Negative: Lack of humor, heaviness, lack of sophistication.

Brown usually consists of red and yellow, with a large percentage of black. Consequently, it has much of the same seriousness as black, but is warmer and softer. It has elements of the red and yellow properties. Brown has associations with the earth and the natural world. It is a solid, reliable color and most people find it quietly supportive – more positively than the ever-popular black, which is suppressive, rather than supportive.


Positive: Hygiene, sterility, clarity, purity, cleanness, simplicity, sophistication, efficiency.
Negative: Sterility, coldness, barriers, unfriendliness, elitism.

Just as black is total absorption, so white is total reflection. In effect, it reflects the full force of the spectrum into our eyes. Thus it also creates barriers, but differently from black, and it is often a strain to look at. It communicates, “Touch me not!” White is purity and, like black, uncompromising; it is clean, hygienic, and sterile. The concept of sterility can also be negative. Visually, white gives a heightened perception of space. The negative effect of white on warm colors is to make them look and feel garish.

What colors surround you at work, or at home? They just might be what’s sparking a certain amount of irritability with a coworker or not allowing you to harness your full creative potential, or maybe they’re what’s keeping you from relaxing when you get home. Or just maybe your home is your oasis and you wouldn’t change a thing?  Something to think about…


~Melanie Gibbs


Psychology of Color – Part 1

What Color Are You?

Have you ever gone somewhere and felt agitated, or irritable and couldn’t put your finger on why?  Or maybe there is a particular coffee shop you love going into and just relaxing while you enjoy your java.  Sometimes the reasons are unmistakable, but to many we’re not sure why some places just seem to evoke subtle, or sometimes strong emotional reactions.

Can these feelings be encouraged by something that is sometimes seen as simply just a color?  You betcha!  We can ALL be affected by this phenomenon.  The emotions are funny things, but if you think about it, it’s really not all that strange. SO many things related to our senses affect the way we feel, from textures and tastes, to music and smells!  Color is no different.  It’s actually more powerful than you might think.

In this first section I’ll describe some effects of the psychological primary colors…


RED. Physical.

Positive: Physical courage, strength, warmth, energy, basic survival, ‘fight or flight’, stimulation, masculinity, excitement.
Negative: Defiance, aggression, visual impact, strain.

Being the longest wavelength, red is a powerful colour. Although not technically the most visible, it has the property of appearing to be nearer than it is and therefore it grabs our attention first. Hence its effectiveness in traffic lights the world over. Its effect is physical; it stimulates us and raises the pulse rate, giving the impression that time is passing faster than it is. It relates to the masculine principle and can activate the “fight or flight” instinct. Red is strong, and very basic. Pure red is the simplest colour, with no subtlety. It is stimulating and lively, very friendly. At the same time, it can be perceived as demanding and aggressive.


YELLOW. Emotional.

Positive: Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, extraversion, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity.
Negative: Irrationality, fear, emotional fragility, depression, anxiety, suicide.

The yellow wavelength is relatively long and essentially stimulating. In this case the stimulus is emotional, therefore yellow is the strongest colour, psychologically. The right yellow will lift our spirits and our self-esteem; it is the colour of confidence and optimism. Too much of it, or the wrong tone in relation to the other tones in a colour scheme, can cause self-esteem to plummet, giving rise to fear and anxiety. Our “yellow streak” can surface.


BLUE. Intellectual.

Positive: Intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, serenity, duty, logic, coolness, reflection, calm.
Negative: Coldness, aloofness, lack of emotion, unfriendliness.

Blue is the colour of the mind and is essentially soothing; it affects us mentally, rather than the physical reaction we have to red. Strong blues will stimulate clear thought and lighter, soft blues will calm the mind and aid concentration. Consequently it is serene and mentally calming. It is the colour of clear communication. Blue objects do not appear to be as close to us as red ones. Time and again in research, blue is the world’s favourite colour. However, it can be perceived as cold, unemotional and unfriendly.

GREEN. Balance.

Positive: Harmony, balance, refreshment, universal love, rest, restoration, reassurance, environmental awareness, equilibrium, peace.
Negative: Boredom, stagnation, blandness, enervation.

Green strikes the eye in such a way as to require no adjustment whatever and is, therefore, restful. Being in the centre of the spectrum, it is the colour of balance – a more important concept than many people realise. When the world about us contains plenty of green, this indicates the presence of water, and little danger of famine, so we are reassured by green, on a primitive level. Negatively, it can indicate stagnation and, incorrectly used, will be perceived as being too bland.

…To be continued…

-Melanie Gibbs