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Tips for Cold Weather Brick Repair

Providing brick repair in Chicago and its suburbs is one of our specialties at Fortune Restoration. Having done repair and restoration on thousands of historical homes and buildings throughout the Chicagoland area, we know that brick repair during Chicago’s sometimes howling winters presents its own special challenges. We’ll share a few winter repair tips with you after pointing out some basics about the interaction between bricks and mortar.

Brick and Mortar Basics

An essential fact about mortar is that it’s deliberately made softer than the bricks it separates to allow for building movement.
“When things shift, something is going to crack, and in building construction the intent is that the soft mortar will crack before the brick because mortar is easier to repair (repoint) than brick. That’s why cracks in a brick wall in a historical building, for example, will show up in a zig zag line in the mortar rather than the brick,” says the team at Touchstone Commercial Services.

Winter Conditions

Winter brick repair in Chicago presents its own challenges, and the goal is to eliminate or minimize the undesirable effects of cold temperatures on the materials.
Cold bricks lower the temperature of the mortar placed between them, and if they’re cold enough the temperature of the mortar may drop below freezing and lead to disruptive expansion of the mortar as water in the mortar freezes.

Also, wet or frozen bricks prevent formation of a good bond between bricks and mortar.

With these basics in mind, here are a few tips for brick repair in Chicago during winter.

• Place your materials on planks, not the bare, wet ground, and cover them with tarps to protect against ground moisture, rain and snow.

• If necessary, heat sand and/or mixing water to produce a mortar temperature between 40° and 120°F.

• With temperatures above 32°F, cover the walls with plastic to keep water out of the masonry.

• With temperatures below 32°F, use a ½ inch insulation blanket to reduce heat loss or keep water out of the masonry.

• Do not tool until the mortar it’s thumbprint hard.

• Cover unfinished work to protect against rain, snow and ice.

The masonry specialists at Fortune Restoration are of course familiar with all these winter techniques and many more. So if you need winter brick repair in Chicago, please call us at (847) 647-2500 for your free, no-obligation estimate on your brick repair needs.

Is Your Paint Peeling

One of the most common issues that painters in Oak Park and other areas of Chicagoland run into is peeling paint, and there are at least three possible causes for the problem.

The Wrong Paint

The first thing possibility is paint incompatibility, especially in older, historical homes and historic landmarks that have many coats of alkyd/oil-based paints on them.
Basically, there are two kinds of house paint: oil, also called alkyd because of the alcohols and acids used in it, and latex. When applied, oil paint forms a tough, plastic film as the binder in it reacts with oxygen in the air. And this process never stops. As the paint ages it continues to oxidize, becoming increasingly brittle and unable to expand and contract with the wood under it.
Latex, in contrast, cures in two to three weeks, and then remains flexible. Ironically, it’s this flexibility that cause problems, especially on walls that face the afternoon sun, when latex is applied over alkyd paint. The latex paint and wood expand as the temperature rises, but the alkyd trapped between the wood and the latex doesn’t. Instead, the alkyd separates from the wood below, and the paint peels.
The obvious solution used by painters in Oak Park is to strip away all the old paint, going down to the bare wood or masonry if necessary.

Poor Prep Work

If the surface was dirty, wet or shiny before the new paint was applied, poor adhesion may occur. Then it’s common for the new coat to peel up, leaving the old coat behind.


This is another cause of peeling paint, especially in bathrooms. If moisture gets beneath the paint, it can cause separation, and the source of the moisture must be eliminated.
Once eliminated, the surface must then be allowed to dry thoroughly before you clean it and apply new coats of primer and paint.
You can, of course, deal with peeling paint yourself, but the very best solution is to call in the professionals from Fortune Restoration. For painters in Oak Park and other Chicago suburbs, we believe we’re your very best choice as we’ve dealt with this problem in thousands of historical and new homes and historic landmarks since we started our business in 1979.
Call us today at (847) 647-2500 for your free, no-obligation estimate and give our experts the opportunity to peel your paint problems away.

Home Painting Resolutions

It’s that time of the year when we make all those resolutions for the coming year: get more exercise, eat healthier, get more sleep, and on and on. The possibilities are endless. Since we’re paint contractors in Chicago, we know we’re a little biased, but we’d like to suggest that while making all those resolutions, you might think about throwing some paint into the mix!
The afterglow of the holidays is a great time to start thinking about how you might dress up and beautify your home with some paint. It might be one room or several, but a fresh coat of paint symbolizes new beginnings and is a great way to update the décor of your home.
As your favorite paint contractors in Chicago, we just happen to have a few suggestions to pass along.

Think Bold

Whether it’s an historical or newer home, using bold colors is a sure way to revamp the interior of your home with exciting impact. While monochromatic color schemes and muted colors make a great starting palette, why not shake things up a bit in 2017? For example, Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue, based on a color much used by the Dutch, would work well on accent walls in either a bathroom or bedroom.
Having worked as paint contractors in Chicago since 1979, we know that adding a few bold, new colors can bring a lot more glamour to the interior of your home than a few pops of color provided by pillows, throws or vases.

Add a Cozy Touch

If you have a large open space or room in your home that doesn’t feel particularly inviting, think of doing it over in a dark color. Dark colors tend to pull in space and make a large room feel intimate, cozy and warm.

Don’t Overdo It

While dark hues add warmth to a larger room, they can shrink smaller rooms into a coffin-like space. Used as an accent color on a wall is fine, but avoid using that color on every wall in a small room.

Make a Plan

Decide which room or rooms are most in need of a painting makeover and check your calendar to decide the time that works best for you. Then call Fortune Restoration at (847) 647-2500 to schedule your free, no-obligation appointment and let us help you carry out those home painting resolutions for the coming year.

Give Your Home a Facelift with Paint

As house painters serving Evanston and other areas of Chicagoland, we realize that when most homeowners think of painting their house, the interior often gets first consideration. Up to a point, that’s fine. Redoing the interior can give your home a renewed beauty and freshness without destroying your budget.

Unfortunately, no matter how amazing your house looks on the inside, people are first going to judge it from the outside. They’ll initially consider its “curb appeal,” which is real estate language for the first impression that a house makes on others.

Perhaps over time you’ve simply become blind to the shortcomings that jump out to others when they see your house for the first time.

House painters in Evanston know that if your house looks sad and unloved, that doesn’t project curb appeal. Whether you want to sell your house or simply give it a facelift, what you do with the exterior can make a huge difference in both appearance and potential resale value.

Do Some Homework

In considering an exterior facelift, you might first do a little homework on your own. For example, take several pictures of your house and spend some time thinking about exterior color changes you might want to make.

Also, take pictures of other homes that you like and make note of their exterior colors that appeal to you.

Additional Considerations

  • In choosing exterior colors, it’s probably a good idea to never use more than three. That’s enough to provide contrast without making your house look like a rainbow.
  • Don’t go for fads that will probably date quickly. Choose colors that will look good for ten years or so.
  • It’s probably a good idea to avoid high-gloss paints, opting instead for low-sheen paints that will look much smarter.
  • As you consider exterior colors, remember that you want to use those that blend well with the age and architecture of your house, as well as those that harmonize with the overall appearance of your neighborhood.

Once you’ve finished your “homework” and start considering house painters in Evanston, we hope you’ll contact Fortune Restoration. We’ve been painting both historical and contemporary homes since 1979, and our experts will help you pick the colors that are right for you. Give us a call today at (847) 647-2500 for your free, no-obligation estimate and let’s start working together on that facelift.

4 Paint Colors That Decrease The Value Of Your Home

Having a “favorite color” is something we discover at a young age. Everyone has a personal preference when it comes to colors. According to new research, paint colors that we choose can directly impact the value of our homes. Zillow analyzed over 50,000 homes throughout the country to find out if paint color affected the final sale price. The study showed us that while everyone has their own “favorite colors”, there are four paint colors, in particular, that should always be avoided. Check out the 4 colors that decrease the value of your home that you should avoid when house painting in Chicago.


Of all 4 offending colors, off-white is the most surprising. The Zillow study found that the use of off-white can make a room feel “flat” or “dead”.


When house painting in Chicago, choosing to paint a living room terracotta could decrease the value of your home by $793 according to Zillow.

Slate Gray

Slate gay was another shocking paint color that people were unsettled by. Gray is a popular and well-liked paint color choice, however, you need to be careful that you choose the right shade when house painting in Chicago. The wrong shade of gray can decrease the final sale price of your home by over $1,000. According to the Zillow study, homeowners who chose to paint slate gray got $1,100 below the expected sale price of their home.

Dark Brown

Dark brown was referred to as “dirty” and even “death” by house hunters. When dark brown is used in a bathroom or bedroom, it lowered the final sale price by up to $469.

Are you house painting in Chicago? Talk to our painting experts at Fortune Restoration today to get started. Our team of professionals has the experience and skill to help you transform your home to look brand new.

Source: Simplemost

Tips For Painting Your Home Before The Holidays

Painting is an easy way to spruce up your home before the holidays. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, it won’t be long until family and friends are knocking on your door. Are you worried that your home isn’t ready for entertaining? Instead of investing in expensive seasonal decor or a home remodel, paint your home a fresh new color scheme. Painting is a great cost-effective way to quickly change the aesthetic of your home. Unlike seasonal decor, painting your home is an investment that will last you a lifetime. With a few weeks left until company arrives, there’s plenty of time to hire professional painters in Chicago to do some interior painting. Keep reading to check our professional tips for painting before the holidays.

Talk With Local Painters in Chicago

With the holidays quickly approaching, there is no time for a DIY job gone wrong. Many homeowners think that there simply isn’t time to hire professional painters in Chicago during this time of year. Here at Fortune Restoration, or schedule does tend to fill up quickly, however, our team will work with you find a time to paint that works with your holiday schedule. You may be surprised by our availability and willingness to accommodate your needs.

Prioritize Your Goals

From holiday shopping to preparing to host or travel, the holiday season is a very busy time for everyone. When you hire our painters in Chicago, we will do all the work for you. All we ask is that you take a deep breath, pour a cup of coffee and think about the goal you want to achieve by painting. For example, updating your guest room to be inviting or patching up damaged walls in your living room. Focus on the spaces that matter most to your guests and where they will be.

The holidays will be here before you know it. Get started with your painting project today! Call our painters in Chicago at (847) 647-2500.

Paint Tips You Shouldn’t Ignore

When you are looking to change a room in your home, painting is often the fastest and most impactful options. DIY painting is often more challenging, time-consuming, and expensive than most people usually think. There are several steps and tips that professionals follow that should not be ignored. As your team of painters in Chicago, we are sharing some of our secret tips.

Don’t Skip The Prep Work

Preparing to paint is not always the most anticipated part of the painting process, however, it is VERY important. Painters in Chicago will tell you that before you begin to paint, you need to collect all the right tools and materials. Getting halfway through a painting project and realizing you don’t have a small paint brush for small details is never fun. Nobody wants to sit in traffic to head back to the store. It’s also important to dust all the cobwebs out of corners and wipe down all of your walls.

Splurge On A Drop Cloth

When you hire our professional painters in Chicago to paint your home, you will see us standing on a drop cloth. Often, DIY painters will opt for a plastic tarp as a cheaper alternative to a drop cloth. While both materials will protect your floor from drips, the fabric will actually soak up any spills making it less likely for you to step in it and track it across your floor. Plastic will also tend to be a single-use product. In contrast, a drop cloth is much more eco-friendly and can be used for additional paint projects.

Don’t Cut Corners With Paint

There are a lot of places you can cut costs when doing a home improvement project. When you are shopping for paint, however, it’s best to splurge. It’s important to get the best quality paint that you can afford for interiors. The paint finish on the walls is the end result of your project. Low-quality paint has less pigment, which is noticeable in neutrals and bright colors. If you must save money on some part of your DIY paint project, save on white paint.

Interested in professional interior painting? Contact our painters in Chicago today at (847) 647-2500.

Benefits of Brick Houses

Brick houses have been a standard of quality in the building industry for many years. Today, homeowners can now choose from a wide range of materials when deciding to build a home. As your brick repair Oak Park company, we are here to help you decide if brick is the right choice for your home’s exterior.

How Popular Are Brick Houses?

According to the National Association of Home Builders, 34 percent of survey participants ranked brick as their top choice for home exteriors, while 21 percent selected vinyl siding, 16 percent said stone, 12 percent said stucco, and 7 percent selected wood. Respondents even went as far as saying they would pay an additional $7,500 for a brick home.

The Real Benefits Of Brick

If you are unsure if a brick house is right for you, consider the following benefits:

Low-Maintenance: Brick is relatively low-maintenance when it comes to building materials due to its durability and color retention.  Brick does not rot and does not need to be painted, however, when issues do arise contact a trusted brick repair Oak Park company. DIY brick repair can be dangerous and costly if done wrong. Leave repairing damaged bricks to the professionals.

Green: Did you know that brick is made from some of the most abundant materials on earth – clay & shale? Brick is often repurposed for landscaping projects.

Weather & Fire Resistant: Bricks are noncombustible. They also do not aid in the spread of a fire. Additionally, brick can even help contain a fire to a particular room or portion of a house. Bricks are also great for storm protection. Research shows that brick exteriors can withstand impact from flying debris and great speeds.

Brick Repair Oak Park

Bricks tend to be more expensive than other exterior products, such as vinyl siding. In order to protect your investment, it’s important that you work with a trusted professional when damages occur. Call our brick repair Oak Park company today at (847) 647-2500.

Painting Tips To Make A Room Look Bigger Or Smaller

Paint colors can make a huge impact on the comfort level, vibe, and aesthetics of a room. Colors are more exciting when we realize how they affect our personal space. What some people don’t know, is that color can also alter our perception of a room’s size and shape. If you are a new condo or homeowner take a look at these house painting Chicago tips that can completely change the look of a room.

Paint The Ceiling

Does your house painting Chicago project involve a room that is too large and doesn’t feel comfortable? Paint the ceiling a dark color to make it appear lower. This will make the room feel cozier. You don’t need to choose a color as dark as black, just a paint color that is darker than your walls. If you have a small space that makes you feel claustrophobic, paint the ceiling a very light color. Lighter color paint on the ceilings will raise the apparent height of the ceiling.

Enlarge A Room With Uniform Walls

Painting a room with one color enables the eye to travel continuously around the space, making it appear larger. When you use different colors, your eye will stop at the line where the color changes. When you paint walls different colors you will see boundaries. When you paint with the same color, you don’t see boundaries and space will continue.

Alter The Shape Of A Room

If you have a narrow space, paint the end walls a shade or two darker than the other walls. This will make the end wall feel closer to you, resulting in a room that feels more square.

Need help with your house painting Chicago project? Our team at Fortune Restoration can help!  Request an estimate today.

5 Paint Style Tips To Consider Before Hiring A Professional

Painting a few walls or a few rooms in your home may seem like a quick and easy task, however, there is a lot more work than meets the eye. When you hire painters in Chicago you can let the experts do all the heavy lifting for you. There is no need to pay for brushes, paint covers, tape, etc., your team of experts will provide all of the supplies you needed. Before getting started with your team of experts, it’s important to put some thought into the work you are having done. Often, homeowners think that choosing a color of paint is the only decision that needs to be made when painting their home. Below are 5 paint style tips to consider before your professional painters in Chicago get to work.

Tip #1: Paint an entire room the same color, even the ceiling. When you leave a white wall it tends to make the room feel even lower than it really is. If you are planning to use a dark color, this is especially true.

Tip #2: Discuss with your professional painters in Chicago using the same color paint as your furniture. In order to make sure the paint color you choose closely resembles your furniture before painting, our team at Fortune Restoration provides color testing.

Tip #3: If you are planning to paint the floors in your home, consider a DIY project of painting your rug.

Tip #4: Don’t forget about your molding! Painting your molding the same color as the ceiling and walls will create the illusion of height.

Tip #5: Another great way to create more height is to have your painters in Chicago paint a room using 2 different finishes. If you are having one wall painted with a glossier finish, paint the other with a flat finish.

Ready to get started? Contact Fortune Restoration today for an estimate.