Monica Pedersen: – Chicago Sun

June 12, 2012 | By More

Daily Splash columnist

June 11, 2012 8:28PM

Monica Pedersen’s Make It Beautiful

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Updated: June 12, 2012 2:12AM

While I have met a lot of women who love to dip their rollers in a bucket of paint, I have yet to meet a man with the same kind of enthusiasm for what is the most affordable home improvement project. This theme has been a constant in my life and has made me want to pull my hair out. Whether it was my own father (he recently retired after 40 years as a Sun-Times truck driver. Happy Father’s Day, Dad! Can you believe I am finally using my journalism degree from Columbia College?), my husband, my carpenters on “Designed to Sell,” or the many male homeowners we’ve featured, the love of painting just isn’t in the male DNA. But I am determined to inspire those paint-hating men out there to get rolling this summer. (And if all else fails, try this trick from an HGTV producer: Put the camera on the tripod, hit the record button, and start a competition. It works every time.)

Prep the walls: Wipe down walls and baseboards, fill holes with a quick-dry spackle, and move furniture into the middle of the room. Invest in a roll of clear carpet shield if necessary, and if you are painting over a dark color or glossy surface, take the time to prime. A quick pass with a sanding sponge and a wipe of a deglosser will get most wood surfaces ready to paint. (A drop of Passo deglosser on a rag is also a great way to remove small drops of runaway paint.) Also, invest in a good angled brush.

Color is key: My favorite go-to paint colors are from Benjamin Moore (a company I swear isn’t paying me a dime). My personal design style is to paint the walls in lighter tones and introduce contrast and accent colors through upholstery and accessories. Dark walls can limit the colors in the rest of your design scheme, but if you have been dying for a deep-red dining room, Dinner Party from Benjamin Moore is pretty fabulous!

Think finish: Flat-finish paint is easy to touch up, but scrubbable matte or eggshell is a must for kids’ rooms, kitchens and bathrooms. Satin, semi-gloss and high gloss is the way to go for trim work and doors.

Don’t be afraid to paint wood!: I also have found that men have a very serious aversion to painting woodwork. Gentlemen, painted wood has been around for centuries, and painting that builder’s grade oak trim won’t hurt the value of your home. Even better, it will make your significant other happy, so do it! Remember: He who dies with the most wood grain doesn’t win.

Monica Pedersen donated her $1,000 fee for this column to Loving Outreach to Survivors of Suicide (LOSS) at the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago (

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Category: Furniture News

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