If you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes.

April, 2019

When Will My Project Begin?

“If you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes.” Have you ever heard a variation of this expression about the status of the weather in New Hampshire? I’ve heard it many times. Mostly it seems like a statement of pride, and maybe a response to a complaint about the current conditions. Often it is exaggerated, and it comes out like this: “If you aren’t tough enough to handle the extremes in New Hampshire, then go back to where you came from.”, as if it were a test. Am I wrong? I’ve heard it in other parts of the country also. It appears to be a regional colloquialism in places that experience less than ideal weather. Conversely, I’ve never heard it said in Southern California. I don't believe this is a coincidence.

One of our most frequently asked questions is “When is our (painting) project scheduled to start?” For interior painting this can be answered with a relatively high degree of certainty. However, for exterior work it is more complicated.

For recreational purposes I think that most people adapt to the climate in which they live. If it’s nice outside there are many options from which to choose, like a picnic or boating, biking, etc... If it’s cold and snowy, they perhaps go skiing or snowshoeing. Regardless of where they live, people adopt a similar strategy if they like to spend time outside. And why not? It's better to enjoy it than complain about it. There are very few places with perfect weather (again I refer to SoCal).
However, when it comes to business, and in particular the business of exterior painting, the weather can be frustrating. We can schedule projects, but we are dependent on certain environmental conditions. Technological advancements in the paint itself have made it possible to work in a wider range of temperatures, but we still need a dry surface to begin. So, this time of year you will see us out there washing and prepping projects, and beginning to finish them, but please understand that we often get delayed due to rainy conditions. We are actively working through our commitments. You are on our schedule, and we promise that we will get to you as soon as we can. Feel free to check in with us, as many of you do, but we may not be able to give you an exact date.

Thank you for your patience.

Are You Being Served?

March, 2019

The last day of winter, March, 2019

What services are most important to you? I read a recent painting industry study with an interest in comparing our services with those offered by similar companies throughout the country. The study was the result of an industry survey for the year 2018. I think the variations can probably be attributed to regional differences.

I addition, the study shared some information about shopping; in this case how customers are typically finding painting companies. I think this is really a representation of shopping trends overall.

I’ve shared a little more detail regarding these findings in the boxes below.
One other glaring observation is that across the country the greatest industry challenge is finding and hiring employees. Those interested in working with us at Prana Design Painting can find us at:   https://www.pranapainting.com/careers.html

APC 2018 Contractor Operations Survey


When it comes to what people want, it’s clear that we provide all of the services mentioned, but I thought I noticed an oddity that stood out from our experience. We have found that one thing that clients do not want is wallpaper. Yet wallpapering services were still being provided by 50% of respondents. However, when I looked closer, I noticed that the service was labeled as “Paperhanging/removal”. It makes sense to me that most of those services are likely for the removal of wallpaper. When we do encounter wallpaper these days, it is because someone wants it removed and the walls repainted.

We find that this also holds true regarding popcorn textured ceilings. While there was a time when popcorn ceilings were very popular, that time has now passed. When a home has this type of ceiling, it is usually perceived as being dated and out of style. So, regarding both wallpaper and popcorn ceilings, we are often called upon to remove and repaint. We also do quite a bit of Cabinet Refinishing, as well as Deck/Dock Refinishing.

For more information regarding our services, please visit our website.
If you don’t see what you are looking for, please contact us directly to discuss your project.

Before and After cabinet repainting/refinishing.

Where people are looking:

Most often shoppers are looking on-line. In keeping with the technology being used in 2018, (now 2019) we try to keep our website and social media sites up to date. These were identified in the survey as the top two sources of information for people who were looking for painting services.
  Drilling down on social media, for those who are using these apps Facebook is by far the most popular. If this is the place where customers are looking, it makes sense that it is where contractors should focus their energy. However, social media isn’t embraced by all. The survey shows that 35% of contractors do not use social media sites.

Also, when it comes to advertising only a little over 10% of contractors use paid services such as Angie’s List and HomeAdvisor. We also do not advertise with those products.

APC 2018 Contractor Operations Survey

A Great Resource For Design and Remodeling Ideas.

February, 2019
A Great Resource For Design and Remodeling Ideas.

I’m pretty sure that I’ve mentioned this before, but I think it’s worth repeating. If you are not aware of this site, I want to introduce a great resource for getting ideas for your home. If you are remodeling or thinking about remodeling, I suggest that you look at Houzz.com. I’ve been an advocate for years, and you will see many of our projects posted to our Houzz site.

The following story came to my attention recently and prompted me to write this post. It also includes a video. I enjoyed the story and I hope that you do too.

Houzz is very much a visual service. When I just checked, I noticed that there are over 18 million photos posted. There are certain quality and resolution requirements for posting to the site. I’ve included a few of these pictures from past projects below, and you may follow the link to see more. Houzz is also specific to home/residential use, so even though I have some nice pictures of commercial projects, like a library we refinished last summer, you won’t see those projects on Houzz. It is strictly for home ideas and services.


When you first visit you will be asked to register with an email address. It’s a free and simple process, and you may turn off or choose not to receive notifications if you’d like. I don’t work for Houzz, and have no affiliation with the company, I just think it’s a good place to go to learn about new design ideas and see examples of what is being done in the realm of home remodeling and design. It doesn’t replace your designer or architect (or painting contractor) but might help you choose these service providers and give you some ideas to discuss for your own home.

Check out Houzz if you’d like. It might be helpful when making those tough remodeling decisions.

call: (603)-763-9017
Schedule my estimate

Can Artificial Intelligence Help Us Paint?

January, 2019

There is no question that innovations in technology have influenced the painting industry. These developments have improved safety, efficiency and productivity across the industry. In the back-office we are better equipped with new, cloud-based, business applications, and on the client facing side we also have advanced color matching tools, safer paints and better equipment. I’m not sure any of this can be called “Artificial Intelligence”.

In the art world, Christie’s Auction House recently auctioned off a painting that was created using Artificial Intelligence (AI). The painting (if that is what it’s

Prana Skiing, 2019

called) sold for $432,500. I guess this quantifies the value of AI in the art market. But like many other items, like homes and cars, the value of a piece of original art is only limited by how much a patron will pay. Can a price that high be typical? I don’t think we have enough data to answer this yet. It might be a unique instance.

Computers are better than humans at many things, but I’m not convinced that painting is one of them. Follow the link below and take a look for yourself. However, I appreciate that despite being created with Artificial Intelligence it still requires creativity on the part of the programmer to develop the algorithm. That kind of imagination and vision is impressive. Is this a new medium for the artist and a new phase in the evolution of art? Also, in regard to the auction price, does the algorithm itself have a value? Perhaps the buyer also acquired the rights to the algorithm?

You may look at the artwork and read more about it here.


In other recent AI news, Waymo is preparing to test fully autonomous vehicles on the streets of Silicon Valley. Some aren’t convinced that we are ready for this, but the Department of Motor Vehicles has given its approval. Most of the time I trust the computer. In my own car I welcome my adaptive cruise control as it tracks the car in front of me and maintains a safe distance. It also helps keep me in my lane and warns me not to change lanes if it sees a car in my blind spot. It doesn’t drive for me, and I still need to pay attention, but I can see how it improves safety. It’s like another set of eyes watching out for me.

It’s a natural progression from cruise control to autonomous vehicles. But I still think humans make better painters.

If you need some painting done, please give us a call.

call: (603)-763-9017
Schedule my estimate

Pantone Color of the Year

Pantone has once again announced their color of the year. I won’t leave you hanging on – it’s called “Living Coral”.

According to Pantone it is “An animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge”.

I understand that to mean that it is a daring color choice, yet not too bold as to be overbearing. Pantone suggests that the color encourages us to put down our phones and turn away from social media for a while to contemplate our authentic and reliable natural world.

It seems that we could all use a little time to take break from our busy, connected lives, and enjoy nature. This time of year, we can dream of the warmth and peacefulness attributed to the colors of coral, but outside it looks quite cold and unforgiving. Yet, we can still enjoy the nature that we are given here in New England. Get out and play in the white, gray and blue colors of the snow. Then, return to your warm, coral colored living room and see what you missed on Facebook.

Read the full press release here:


A while back I enlisted the help of local interior designer, Liz Hause, to say a few words about the Pantone Color Institute and it’s influence on color. Feel free to contact Liz to get her thoughts on color and Pantone.

     Liz Hause Design

Here’s a link to that earlier post – “Pantone Color Institute – Your Next Color Has Likely Already Been Decided…”

We Are Thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving.

A simple thank you to all who work with us throughout the year, and those who trust us to help keep your homes and businesses looking their best. We have a lot for which to be thankful.

First Snow 2018First Snow 2018

Many of you will be traveling during this holiday. Hopefully, the snow will be cleared by the time you head out.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Concord, NH

What do painters do during the winter?

October, 2018

Paint inside, of course.
But wait…

Before we jump into the winter already how about a brief summer roundup in pictures. We covered a lot of ground, so take a moment to see a few accomplishments.

However, if you are thinking about a winter project, contact us soon.

Schedule my estimate

Richards Free Library

As spring came upon us, I mentioned that if you looked around outside you would begin to see us getting started on various jobs. Despite some challenges with the weather, we’ve had a good run this year.
From the Richards Free Library in Newport, to residential repaints, and on to the Mountain Edge Resort and Spa at Mount Sunapee. Here are just a few projects.









1831 Farmhouse Painting Restoration

Early 1800s Repaint

Mountain Edge Resort

You may still see us outside, as we finish up as much as possible before it gets too cold to paint. But, don’t forget that we’re still here painting all year long. You just might not see us, because we’ll be hidden inside.

Don’t let out-of-site be out-of-mind. If you have an interior project that you’ve been waiting to tackle, give us a call now to get an estimate and get on our calendar. Don’t wait. Estimates are always free, and we are happy to help in any way, from color consultations to complete remodeling. We can also bring an interior designer to assist with other home decorating ideas.

call: (603)-763-9017
Schedule my estimate

Are There Risks to Hiring an Uninsured Contractor to Work on Your Home?

September, 2018

Are There Risks to Hiring an Uninsured Contractor to Work on Your Home?

Painting New Hampshire

You bet there are.

When a homeowner hires a company or person that does not have insurance, that homeowner is effectively operating as the general contractor, and could be liable for any damages or injuries. And a standard homeowner’s insurance policy may not offer adequate coverage, or may not apply at all in the event of an accident. It could be a pretty big gamble. Please click on the following links to learn more about the risks. Some of the examples cited by these industry experts are downright scary.

Running any business for over 40 years is challenging, and a painting business is no exception. As with any legal, professional business, a painting company has a fair amount of expenses. These expenses include having the proper insurance coverages for both liability and worker’s compensation.

Know the risks of hiring an uninsured contractor. – Colby Insurance Group
3 risks of hiring contractors without general liability and workers comp. – Beacon Insurance Advisors
The danger of using unlicensed and uninsured contractors. – All Property Management

Interior Painting and Staining

A contractor that operates a business without insurance is trying to save money. And if they don’t pay for insurance they can charge less for their work, and may be able to win price-competitive bids. Be aware of that when you get estimates for services for your home. The estimates may not truly reflect comparable services or protection. Make sure that you know what you are getting when you hire a contractor.

Contact us now to schedule a painting estimate.
We’re currently scheduling interior painting projects for this winter. Please contact us now to arrange for an estimate and get on our project schedule.
Two years ago I was in a car accident. It was clearly the other driver’s fault, and she took full responsibility. However, I soon learned that she did not have insurance. So, in many ways this is similar to a homeowner who hires a contractor without insurance.

Since she had no insurance, I was responsible for the repairs for my car. Nobody was injured, but if there were any medical bills, I would have been responsible for them as well. Fortunately, my “uninsured motorist” coverage took care of my damages, which added up quickly. Your homeowner’s insurance may not be as helpful as your uninsured motorist insurance if an accident occurs. Understand that it may not be exactly the same, and either way, you are responsible for damages or injuries.

You may be able to recover some of the costs through the court system, but how long is that road? Winning a judgement might be easy, but getting any money back is another matter. A driver without insurance probably doesn’t have any money, and a contractor without insurance will probably go out of business and file for bankruptcy.


What If Washing is All Your House Needs?

August, 2018

What If Washing is All Your House Needs?

watch this video

Careful preparation is critical in the painting process, and will have a lasting effect on the quality and endurance of the finished product.

A thorough washing is almost always the first step in painting the exterior of your home. You might be amazed by the outcome. Sometimes the results are remarkable. What if that’s all your home needs right now?

We use a gentle, low-pressure process to prevent damage. We begin by applying a cleaning solution with a pump sprayer, taking special care to protect all of the plants and bushes of the landscaping. If necessary we will then scrub with brushes. This is almost always needed on flat surfaces, like decks and docks. Then the cleaning solution is rinsed off with water. After a couple of days of drying time we can continue with the next steps of the painting process.

Some homes are particularly dirty and covered with mildew. Certain homes or sections may require more than one treatment. Sometimes it is necessary for us to wash the home first before we can determine what other preparatory steps are required for the paint job.

If your home hasn’t been painted or washed in a while, the washing may offer a significant improvement. Then we can more accurately estimate the painting, or sometimes even suggest that painting can wait another year.

Libraries Rock!

I wouldn’t say that it’s an easy task restoring the trim on a historic building dating back to the end of the 19th century. Patience and know-how are required, and it probably goes without saying that it also involves a significant investment in time. In this case the building to which I am referring is the Richards Free Library in Newport. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Richards Free Library on the National Register of Historic Places

Located on Main Street in Newport, New Hampshire, the Seth Mason Richards Building was built as a home for, naturally, Seth Mason Richards in 1899. The Richards family was one of the wealthiest in town and apparently also quite altruistic, with the original library being founded by Dexter Richards in 1888.

In 1962, Dexter’s granddaughter, Louise Richards Rollins, donated the residence to be used as the Richards Free Library. Prior to that date the Richards Free Library was located in a different building in Newport that has since been replaced with a newer structure.

You may have noticed us working on the building this summer. While the siding is vinyl, all of the white trim was badly in need of restoration. Take a look the next time you visit, or make a special trip to visit even if the Richards Free Library isn’t your local library. Then go visit your library. While library services have changed over the years, they still offer many valuable resources and activities.











Earlier this season children’s librarian, Moriah Churchill-Calkins (Ms. Mo), was married at the library, taking advantage of its historic charm. Here are a few pictures that she shared, with credit to photographer Cheryl Barker.

Cheryl Barker, photographer.

Cheryl Barker, photographer.

Cheryl Barker, photographer.

I think I’m still working my list from 2017, or maybe even 2016, but if you’re still looking for some summer reading you might start here.

The 39 books we’re talking about this summer