Advance Painting

Color Palette #02: Neptune Hues

Our Color Palette this week is inspired by the Seafoam green paint we used as an accent tone for the Custom Cornhole Boards we posted about a few weeks ago. These lagoon-like hues would make a serene palette perfect for a home interior. 

Neptune Hues Color Palette | Benjamin Moore Colors: Blue Toile, San Clemente Teal, Teal Tone, Largo Teal, Washington Blue

Colors from the 2014 Benjamin Moore Color catalog:

Blue Toile (BM-748), San Clemente Teal (BM-730), Teal Tone (BM-663), Largo Teal (BM-742), Washington Blue (BM CW-630)

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10 Essential Tools for Your Home Paint Kit

Having the right tools for a painting project can turn a seemingly insurmountable task into a  fulfilling and even fun way to spend a day. (Believe it or not!)

It’s only taken 30 years (and many trips to the paint store because I didn’t have a paint tool I needed) to compile the following list.

Here are 10 essential paint tools you can use to start and complete almost any small to medium-scale painting project (with a bonus tool, your drop cloth!).



A five gallon bucket is a much improved replacement to the messy pan you see at the hardware store. Dip your roller in and roll off the excess on the grid to get a consistent application on your walls. You can pick your bucket up, move it, and hang your roller on it.  And you won’t step in it!


I use Purdy brand brushes exclusively due to their exceptional quality and long lasting durability. If properly cleaned and cared for, a Purdy brush will last several years. I recommend keeping two sizes in your home paint kit: a 3-inch full-size brush, and a smaller brush (1.5 - 2.5 inch), which will allow you to brush in paint at any angle.

Protip: A small wire brush will help you remove paint from the bristles during each soap and water cleaning.


Smoothing rough surfaces with sandpaper is an essential prep task if you want your paint to lay correctly (and believe me, you do). Our favorite sandpaper is 3M Pro Grade Advanced Sandpaper 120 Grit, with No-Slip backing

Protip: keep a sheet of sandpaper tri-folded in your pocket when you’re working on a paint project. This way, you’re using only 1/3 of a sheet at a time instead of the entire sheet at once, which can be unwieldy. Flip over to a fresh side as needed. 


A multi-tip screwdriver, retractable razor knife and putty knife in your pocket will allow you to remove fixtures, cut tape and plastic, and scrape debris and chunks from your paintable surfaces. 


Costco to the rescue.  We use Kirkland Gloves, because of cost and quality. And they are always in stock!  These gloves will keep your hands clean, and paint chemicals from absorbing into your skin. There’s nothing like standing over the sink scrubbing paint off your hands at the end of the day. With gloves, you can forgo the task altogether.


The extension pole cuts down the time it takes to paint, by enlarging the area you can reach with your roller. Holding your roller by hand is frustrating, painful, and slow! Use the pole.

In a pinch, you can actually use a broom-handle stick with a threaded end.  We use Wooster Sher-Lock Extension poles, because of their quality construction and durability.


Taping edges where you want to stop your paint application is the first line of defense to create a clean paint project.  3M blue tape is expensive, but the lighter adhesive won’t ruin your furniture or pull off existing paint when you remove it. So make sure to pick up the blue stuff!


Cracks in walls, ceilings and trim can be smoothly filled with paintable acrylic caulk. The caulking gun requires a light squeeze on the trigger, and a damp rag will remove the excess material off your surface.


Fill nail holes and other gaps with your putty knife, then sand smooth when dry. DAP CrackShot is a high-performance spackle that we prefer, because of its sandability.  You can even use it to repair dents on a steel door.


A 9-inch full-size, and a 7-inch weenie roller frame and cover will get your paint on any surface with ease. We use Wooster roller frames, again because of their quality and durability. 

As a final note, keep your tools clean, and together in one container between uses. 
With these basics at the ready, you can paint like a pro!

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4 Tips for Staining Exterior Wood Like a Pro

Here are four essential tips for getting your exterior stain job right the first time, straight from the Advance Painting repository of must do's.



We can usually determine if a cleaning agent is required by the level of gray-ness of the wood components. Paint stores and hardware stores carry several brands of wood cleaners, so you can pick one that fits your needs.

Wet your surface, then pre-spray as needed with your cleaning/bleaching agent. You can agitate the cleaner into the wood if desired with a semi-stiff brush.


Before the wood dries out, power wash the surface. This is the best way to remove dirt, old dried stain, mildew, and angry insects from your wood surfaces.

You will see the color changing as the old color and dead wood fibers rinse out of the surface. You can wash sections at a time, or a whole run of fencing at once if you don’t use a cleaning/bleaching agent.

Once the cleaning task is completed, wait at least 24 hours for the wood to dry.


Cover the ground surfaces underneath the area you plan to stain.  Plastic sheeting, drop cloths, and cardboard are good tools to protect the ground from your stain, and will keep your brush or roller from picking up dirt and transferring it to your wood.


With the stain poured off into a useable-sized container (a 2 gallon bucket is perfect for this job), begin by staining one board at a time. You can apply stain with a brush, roller, or spray system such as an HVLP gun. 

Working with the grain is essential; if you go across the grain you will get an uneven appearance when everything dries.

Also, stain is not like paint, where you can ‘cut in’ the edges and then roll out the inside area. It is important that you complete a board, top to bottom, before moving to the next board.  

Or in the case of a door or window, complete a component end to end before moving on to the next surface area.

If you stop your progress, you will find that the stain is difficult to blend in.  

There is a fix, however, if you find yourself in this predicament.

Re-apply the stain where the color is lighter, and apply less and less pressure with your brush as you near the ‘line’ where you can see the stain edge.  With a little finesse, you can blend in the stain until it is virtually unnoticeable. 

One coat of exterior stain is almost always all that is necessary.  The finished product will have an evenly uneven look to it, which will develop into a nice patina over time.  A well-stained fence will make for good neighbors, and some very good looking landscaping!

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