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Hester Painting & Decorating

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Homeowners Choosing Environmentally Friendly Paints; Hester Painting & Decorating Provides Pointers for Going "Green" with Paints

Skokie, IL, May 15, 2008 --( Eco-friendly paints are good news for homeowners wanting to do better for the environment while enjoying luxurious color on their walls. New technology at the molecular level, enabling better color locking, boosts eco-friendly paints onto par with the durability and color saturation of traditional latex paints. Skokie-based Hester Painting & Decorating is now able to provide a full range of colors and many of its specialty faux finishes in low odor, low VOC paints.

“Our environmentally conscious customers rave about these paints. They’ve only recently become available in such rich hues,” said Jeff Hester, vice president of Hester Painting & Decorating. “And they are an ideal choice of our customers who are sensitive to chemicals or who have allergies or asthma.”

In the past, eco-friendly paints were mostly available only in tepid colors and whites. The new paints are saturated in color, and there are plenty of choices. Just one of the brands used by Hester Painting & Decorating comes in more than 3,300 colors.

Here are seven tips for using the low VOC paints and painting in a more eco-friendly manner, according to Hester:

• Specify eco-friendly, low VOC. All of the major paint manufacturers sell “green,” or low VOC, paints. VOC stands for volatile organic compounds, which are released into the air when paint dries. Paints with low VOC release fewer particles and produce less odor. It’s important to be aware that not all low VOC paints are the same. Just as with regular paints, there is a range in terms of quality. When choosing dark colors, shop carefully. Colorants tend to raise VOC levels and not all manufacturers make their darker shades in a low VOC formulation.

• Use eco-friendly when the inhabitants are less mobile. The low VOC paints are ideal for homes with elderly residents or small children who may be more difficult to relocate while the paint dries. With low VOC, residents can sleep in a room the day it is painted. “When babies are around, I use the ‘greenest’ paint I can for the project,” said Hester.

• Go for faux. The new paints can be used in virtually all faux and specialty finishes such as glaze mottling and certain Venetian plasters.

• Waste less with samples or sample boards. “Do overs” waste paint. Because colors don’t always look the same on a wall as they do on a small color card, you want to look at large enough samples of the colors or finishes before starting the project to avoid having to change your mind after an entire wall is completed. Many paints come in sample sizes. Or, ask your contractor to prepare a few sample boards. That way you can look at a variety of colors in your home without wasting whole cans of paint.

• Calculate well. Double check your math to ensure you don’t overbuy and have to dispose of lots of extra paint. Consult your local government for pointers on disposal. A benefit of using professional painters is that they know just how much to mix.

• Invest in quality preparation. The key to a long lasting paint job is good preparation. A well-prepared, well-painted wall is better for the environment as you’ll need to repaint less often.

• Experiment if you are sensitive. Not all eco-friendly paints are the same; nor are sensitivities. Anyone with chemical sensitivity or conditions such as asthma or allergies will want to talk with a professional painter about paint ingredients as reactions are often quite specific to the individual. Said Hester, “You can ask your painter for the MSDS (material safety data sheet), which includes the paint’s ingredients and take it to your doctor.”

Finally, one of the most important health considerations isn’t the new paint, but the possibility of lead in the old paint. Homeowners who suspect they have lead – and most homes built before 1978 do – should contact a professional contractor who is educated in proper handling and safety related to lead paint issues.

Hester Painting & Decorating is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council. The company has been providing homes and high-profile commercial establishments in the Chicagoland area with high-end decorating services since 1968. Widely regarded as a leader in the fields of painting, faux finishing, and exterior and interior maintenance, Hester Painting & Decorating utilizes an enormous repertoire of finishes and wall covering techniques to create unique environments for its clients. To learn more about franchising opportunities or other services offered by Hester Painting & Decorating, call Steve Hester at (847) 677-5130, ext. 11, or visit

Contact Information
McPhilimy Associates
Cheryl McPhilimy
(312) 988-1270

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