Exterior Semi-Transparent Stain

30 years we have been taking care of this customer. We have re-stained the wood siding every 10 years with a semi-transparent stain. The average life span for this type of product is 5 years.  Preparing the surface is the key to any paint or stain job.



Cabinet Refinishing, what are your options?

If the cabinets in your home are worn out, peeling, fading, soft, gummy or spotty, you have many options for making them better. The list for fixing them is long and ranges from completely replacing them, to replacing the doors, to re-varnishing or painting.

The least expensive option and often the smartest option is simply to re-paint or re-varnish.

The three most important parts of refinishing are preparation, preparation, and more preparation. Most paint and varnish manufacturers have been trying to make products that are user-friendly for years. They are making self-priming and no-sanding products. The problem with cabinetry is as follows:

There is perhaps no other wood surface in your home that gets the same amount of abuse. Cooking oils, hand oils, cleaning products, fingernails, rings on your fingers and constant use.

So, your new coatings must stick. This means you must prepare. This means you must do the following and be diligent.

Wash all surfaces with a strong cleaner like TSP, rinse to remove residue. Re-sand to raw wood at damaged areas to allow the wood to accept new stain or primer. Custom mix stains to match your existing finish and apply spot stain. We use gel stains to allow for darker coloring. Spot apply with an oil-based sanding sealer at damaged areas. Caution — don’t move to the next step until the finish looks uniform. Re-clean with a solvent like paint deglosser and start your varnishing.

Coating compatibility is a problem. Oil-based varnish, water-based varnish, polyurethanes, epoxies, and lacquers react differently with each other. You can’t just willy-nilly apply one over the other. Your safest and easiest coating to use over any existing varnish is just good old fashioned standard oil-based varnish!

If this is something you would rather not tackle at this time, call Lake Area Painting & Decorating.  We love to restore kitchen cabinets.


Bar & Table Top Refinishing

New table tops at Tom Reid's City Pub in St. Paul, MN

New table tops at Tom Reid’s City Pub in St. Paul, MN

Yes, at Lake Area Painting it is a specialty. We are very good at making an old beat up table top or bar top into a new extremely hard varnished finish. The final finish can be a mirror-like gloss finish or a hand-rubbed satin finish. Bar tops and kitchen tables take an enormous amount of abuse, which is why we only use high-solid content polyurethane or epoxy in these situations.

The most incredible part of our system is you will not need to close your bar or restaurant! The complete system can be achieved within 24 hours! That’s correct we can come into your restaurant and/or bar at 9pm on a Sunday night and by Monday night the smell will be gone and you will be looking at a perfectly smooth varnished surface.

What is involved? All adjacent surfaces are covered and protected. All existing coatings are removed including a very fine layer of wood. All surfaces are sanded smooth and we apply 2-3 coats of varnish.

We have several types of finishes to choose from, we can use lacquers, polyurethanes, or two-part epoxy. All are extremely tough and designed for long-term daily abuse.

Call today 651-429-1778 for a no obligation estimate.


How do we keep your house from getting trashed during remodeling?

Painting is considered to be one of the dirtiest fields in the construction industry. So what’s the deal, how can it be managed?

It’s only a matter of TTT “TAKE THE TIME” keeping things neat and clean during a construction project that happens in THREE phases.


When Lake Area Painting and Decorating completes the job every surface in the room being painted will be covered before we start any other prep work. Furniture is covered with clean cotton sheets and then a layer of plastic. Both layers extend to the floor. Wood or tile flooring is covered with a 3M rubber barrier or rosin paper. Carpeting is covered with 10 Oz Absorbent canvas drop cloths. Note-It’s not helpful if the contractor never washes his floor coverings. Dog hair, cat hair, and all the dirt and debris get moved from job to job, Yuck! At LAPD we wash our drops and between jobs, we shake the bleep out of our floor coverings.


Anytime we have the option to use tools with vacuums we do. We often vacuum areas as we sand or prepare. When any one process is extremely messy (wallpaper removal or texture removal) we will remove all that debris at the end of the day!


Yes, there will still be a mess even with a diligent setup and cleanup.
Vacuuming carpets, mopping floors, cleaning glass and countertops etc. The goal here is to leave the house cleaner than we found it!

Did the contractor remove his shoes when he entered your house?
Does the contract spell out clean up and prevention procedures?

What do his or her previous customers have to say about them? That’s right; you have to make some calls. A contractor’s history is an excellent indication of their future performance!

Thanks for reading!
Your helpful contractor,
Jim Keenan, 3rd Generation Painter & Owner of LAPD


Is it too late to paint?

Fall Exterior painting in Minnesota

Here at Lake Area Painting, we are often asked, “When does it get too cold to paint?” Cold is a serious limiting factor and paint manufacturers are good about spelling out the temperature tolerances for their products. It’s really fairly simple, most exterior paint and stain is water-based. Therefore if the paint is applied during the day and the temperature falls to below freezing before the paint dries you will have a problem. The results will be obvious; the paint will crack and fall off!

There is, however, another concern or problem that happens far more often and is related to cold weather. SURFACTANT LEACHING! Very often in the spring and fall as those beautiful sunny days turn into cool nights we get condensation. Here’s what happens, as the temperature falls at night and it gets close to the dew point the humidity increases. That humidity in the air hangs on to the warmer sides of your home. If your fresh paint is not completely dry you will end up with streaks in the paint and

There is soap or surfactants in all paint and damp air will actually pull the soap to the surface of the paint causing a very unsightly looking finish.

To avoid the problems quit painting earlier in the day. Also, windy afternoons help to dry out the paint quicker or this is one of the few times during the year when painting on the sunny side of the house is a good idea. That sun on a 50-degree day will help dry the paint.

Happy painting!


Touch up Painting Interior Walls – a Do or a Don’t?

How do I do it? Can it be done? Are there other options?

How do we touch up interior walls?

Answer: You don’t! Under most circumstances touching up walls is a poor idea! You are better off trying to wash off those little messes or problems. Try using a mild soap like dishwashing soap or those new funny little bleach sponges seem to work well.

Are there other options?

Answer: Alternately if washing off does not work you can paint individual walls from corner to corner. Even if the paint you have is not a perfect match, a corner-to-corner painting will often solve your problems.

The best option?

Answer: We use Benjamin Moore’s highest quality interior wall paint (AURA). With this paint, washing is easy and if the stain will not come out you can truly touch up! And yes I mean touch up just the spot. The touch-up factor with AURA paint is hands down the best in the market. Yet another reason for using the best products available.


Tired of Popcorn Ceiling?

Lake Area Can Help You Achieve a New Look

Do you feel like a bag of popcorn exploded every time you look up at one of your ceilings? If you are sick and tired of your popcorn ceiling, Lake Area Painting and Decorating, Inc. can help you modernize. Most of our customers who have popcorn ceilings have two main questions:

1) Can removing a popcorn-textured ceiling be done quickly and without creating a large mess?
2) And what are the options for a new look on my ceilings?

Quickly? Yes!

On an average-sized room – let’s say 12 feet x 15 feet – we can prepare (“cover and mask”) the
room, remove the texture, and re-install knock down or any other texture in
as few as three days! If we add more rooms or square footage we can still
get the job done in three days. More rooms will only require more manpower.

Without a mess? Yes and no!

There will be a mess no doubt. The trick is containment, management and
clean up. And yes it is a trick. Good systems are critical or it could be
a disaster. Think about all those tiny little bumps on your ceiling scattered across your floor.

What are the options for a new look?

How about a very smooth bright white ceiling? Or a shade of gray or a subtle
gold tone. How about a very fine knock down texture or a very bold knock
down. Bloops, swirls, Spanish texture – yes there are lots of options

We invite you to call us at 651-429-1778 if you are interested in a quote on removing your popcorn ceiling and adding a new look.


Welcome to our new website

A big thank-you to John at Your Market Direct for helping us get our new website up and running.