Whew! It’s been a whirlwind of a season for me this fall! October has always been super busy with Halloween events, but since adding window painting to my repertoire two years ago, it is now also the season for that final rush of exterior window paintings before the temperatures drop too much!
Dunkin’ Donuts keeps me busy year round, as I now paint six stores seasonally. This fall was the first time I repeated the same design across all stores, because they were running a promotion! Here are some photos and videos!
In addition to the happy hour promotion, I also did a new “now hiring” message on two stores, and added a coffee bean promotion to one of the drive-through windows! Since painting on the drive through window would get in the way of customers, I ended up painting that one on a piece of adhesive-backed clear vinyl and applying it between cars to the window. With the exception of one brand new store, these jobs also included removal of the previous windows. Every window project I quote includes FREE removal when you want it down!
I also took on two new clients this fall: Snap Fitness and Genesis Dance Company! Luckily we had a stint of record high temperatures here in early November, so I was able to squeak in a couple more exterior paintings!
It’s been one busy month here at Paintertainment with window painting! Besides the three Dunkin’ Donuts locations I have the pleasure of painting seasonally throughout the year, I also did an interior job, painting some conference rooms in an office building! So much fun…here are some photos and movies of what I’ve been up to so far this winter!
Here is a time lapse video of the Chaska Dunkin’ location…this one is on two sides of the building…
Below is the Rogers, MN Dunkin’ location! This design was SO much fun! I love this client…she really lets me just have creative freedom and always chooses something super fun from my sketches. I love incorporating donuts into their designs! The previous fall design had a fun owl design on the lower panes, so we kept the text again here and I updated it for winter with some ice fishermen! This design definitely screams “Minnesota” as we love to ice fish here, and I was sure to paint a few of my favorite fish to catch here: sunfish, walleye and bass!
This window was the hardest physically for me to paint. It was supposed to be 50 degrees this day, however, it only ended up getting to 37 while I was painting. This is all fine of course if it’s sunny and not windy…I painted Chaska in 37 and sun and didn’t even need a coat. But, for whatever reason, this day I was absolutely freezing to the point of shaking! I think it was a combination of the cloudiness, the dampness (it had just rained the day before), and the breeze. So, the paint dried very slowly…but in the end I love how it turned out!!
Here is a video…
The third Dunkin’ location didn’t need much updating…I just removed some pumpkins and replaced them with snow!
With some careful planning, you can save a little time and money with seasonal updates! Of course, window paintings aren’t really meant to last more than a few weeks, but these ones stay relatively protected from weather, and still looked like new. So, why not make them last? I did turn her earmuffs from orange to red here as well. The other side of the building didn’t have anything super fall-ish so I left that one as-is.
The last window job I’d like to share with you was my first INTERIOR job! This was for three conference rooms, which have basically a wall of glass.
This was a really fun and HUGE job! I probably painted around 50 feet lengthwise, and floor to ceiling. It was nerve wracking painting on carpet, but I made sure to have plenty of drop cloths and am super careful about making sure any paint I’m not using at the moment is closed up and in a safe spot. The tricky part here was keeping everything within just a few feet of the windows, so that people could still walk by me in the hallways!! It involved a lot of shuffling of my supplies. Also, being on the 7th floor, I probably spent 1/2 hour or so just bringing stuff in and out. I did also have to run out to Home Depot to grab a better, darker green…so all in all I spent about 10 hours straight here! Everything took more coats than usual…just because I am picky and I like it to be as opaque as possible. But, since these windows have exterior windows behind them, there is no way to completely avoid seeing brush strokes with the sun shining through them. I love how it turned out in the end, and it was really nice to be inside and not worry about weather! I also got to try out my new Posca paint pens for the ornaments. I didn’t take any time lapse movies of this, being that it was in an office, for privacy reasons.
So, as you can see I’ve been busy lately squeaking in window jobs between entertainment jobs! But, I really love window painting and I’m so glad that Covid pushed me to add this to my repertoire. It blends perfectly with my schedule, as I can paint windows on week days during the day, leaving those busy holiday weekends for face painting and balloon twisting!
Interested in learning more about becoming a window painter? Check out the latest issue of Wet Paint Magazine! I recently wrote an article about how I got into window painting, and the process I followed getting started, including some tips & tricks of the trade, resources to learn more, and a list of what supplies you need to get going!
In my family we like to kick off the Christmas season by decorating our tree, enjoying a plate of Christmas cookies and watching our first Christmas movie of the season! I have a stack of our favorites…Rudolf, Frosty, the Charlie Brown Christmas, Home Alone, the Grinch, Elf, etc! This year the boys picked The Christmas Story and we plan to work our way through them all this month!
I needed to create some sample windows to take photos, so I can show my clients visually what the difference is between windows painted from the interior vs exterior. So, I incorporated some of our favorite “Christmas specials” into my own home windows this past weekend! I still plan to add a few more characters in the coming weeks, but here’s what I have done so far! I also did a little bit of experimenting with glitter paint!
Are you unsure whether you want your windows painted from the inside or the outside? Ask your artist as they may have recommendations based on various factors. If you want it to grab attention from the outside, exterior painting may attract the most attention. However, if your windows are not on ground level where an artist can easily reach them, it’s too cold to work outside, or you’re worried about weather damaging them before you want them gone, an interior painting may be better. Read on to see some visual examples of the differences!
Both interior and exterior paintings have their pro’s and con’s. As you can see below, the Grinch & Max aren’t QUITE as bright and bold as the others, because the window is still creating reflections in front of the paint. The other characters, however, block reflections because they are painted over the exterior glass. However, interior paintings can be a bit more interesting viewed from the inside too, not just the outside. They can also give a fun stained glass effect at night when the light shines through.
Painting on the OUTSIDE to be viewed from the OUTSIDE
Painting the exterior is generally my preferred method…when the temperatures are nice. Minnesota’s winter temperatures, however, do not play well with paint or liquids in general, not to mention the physical toil it takes on the artist. You have to wear more layers, bring more gear and take more time to create the same design you could paint in the summer. However, we had a nice 50 degree day last weekend, which was perfect to squeeze in this exterior paint job before the temps dropped! Below you can see the process I use for an exterior paint job.
When I paint on the exterior, I start with a white base. This is what really makes the colors pop. It also ensures that you aren’t wasting a lot of colors going over something again and again to achieve a bright, opaque look. Then I add the main color fields, and finally I do outlines and highlights.
As you can see below, it’s not really meant to be viewed from the inside. (the left is a view of the window from inside the house…the right is outside) This doesn’t normally matter to businesses because their goal is to catch the attention of passersby outside, not inside.
However, there are some applications where you might want the painting viewable from the inside…for instance, if it is meant to be enjoyed by residents in a nursing home or kids in a daycare center.
Painting from the INSIDE to be viewed from the OUTSIDE
Interior window painting is ideal for the artist during those colder months. The paint flows and dries better when it’s not frozen, and designs also are easier to remove when the water isn’t turning to slush! It also is a good way to keep your artwork protected from wear and weather if you have issues with that. However, painting something on the INside that is meant to be viewed from the OUTside is a trickier and more time consuming process. The reason is that you have to work in reverse…if you make a mistake, you can’t just cover it up with more paint, because it’s being viewed from the other side. Basically you start with the outlines, highlights and shadows, which is something you do at the end of a traditional exterior painting, and work backwards, doing the main color fields last. It takes lots of confidence, more precision, and more layers of every color to get the bright, opaque results.
Above you can see the view of this interior painting from OUTSIDE on the left, and from the INSIDE on the right. As you can see, it looks nice and crisp when viewed from the outside, as is intended. However, it looks a little sloppier from the inside, just because of the layering method, and because it wasn’t done for inside viewing. Although, with more time I could go back over the outlines again at the end to clean it up from the inside if necessary. Again, most businesses wouldn’t care about this if their goal is to attract attention from outside. Even if you don’t clean it up on the inside, you can make out the design and colors much more from inside with this method than you could with Rudolf above, who looks more white from inside.
One kindof fun side effect of an interior paint job is that it almost lights up like a stained glass window at night, when it’s dark outside but your lights are on behind the art. A design painted on the exterior, however, wouldn’t look so colorful at night because the white base blocks the light from coming through.
Painting on the INSIDE to be viewed from the OUTSIDE AND INSIDE
It is also possible to create a design that is just as clean & crisp from the inside as it is from the outside…it just requires extra time to basically paint the same design twice…once in reverse considering the outside viewer, and then layering again over the top to clean it up for the inside viewer. Does your brain hurt yet? Hehe! If I get some free time I might go over the Grinch painting again from the inside, just to show how that can look…
More examples to come! Stay tuned!
I’ll be putting together a nice visual reference with all this info for my clients in the near future….but first I want to get photos of a design painted on vinyl and adhered to the outside, for more comparisons. Vinyl is another great method for the colder months, because the design can be painted indoors at the artist’s studio, and then applied on site. Stay tuned for more on that process!
Yesterday I had the pleasure of painting some fun holiday windows for Lake Harriet Florist in Minneapolis! I was contacted on Monday for a quote, got them a price and sketches based on what they were looking for, and was already out there painting on Thursday! I moved pretty quickly with this one since Thursday was forecasted to be an unseasonably warm day, reaching the 50’s! It was a perfect day for painting, and such a beautiful storefront with nice windows. They were kind enough to remove the pretty planters and spruce tips that were in front of the windows so I’d have space to work…so I’ll have to get another photo with THEIR beautiful work once they put it all back! Lake Harriet Florist create STUNNING flower arrangements…if you’re looking for some really incredible flowers and live in the Twin Cities, I’d highly recommend supporting this talented small business who also supported my small business! Spread the local business love!
These were so much fun to paint! The client wanted to steer clear of being too cartoony, so I toned down the outlines with a dark gray instead of a black. That way I could still make the colors pop without dark outlines. It’s hard to tell in the photos here but this was the first time I experimented with metallic silver paint! I used metallic silver as the background of the holly ornament, and on all of the tops of each ornament. It turned out pretty cool!
I was there for about 6 hours, from the time I pulled up to the time I cleaned up. It took about an hour to get the windows all cleaned and prepped and sketch out the design. A little over an hour to do the white (since that included all the “dangles” above), and then the rest was painting! I brought a fan along and was able to paint pretty much non stop, moving the fan to dry as I went on to another section.
Here’s a time lapse video! My GoPro at one point decided to switch from time lapse mode to normal recording, so it either ran out of space or battery before the end, but this will show you some of the process.
We are having so much fun with this fun, interactive style of window painting! It’s a great way for your kids to be a part of the art, and the perfect way to entertain and celebrate occasions during the pandemic with no contact necessary!
We paint a design using only white linework on the outside of your window, with our outdoor paint that can last for weeks.
Inside the house, you and your kids can color in the design using chalk markers or window markers, just like a giant coloring book! (Scroll down for our recommended markers for coloring it in!)
Chalk markers are easy to wipe off with a damp paper towel or cloth, so your kids can color again and again! And when you’re all done with it, just let us know and we’ll come out to remove the outside paint for you.
Chalk Marker Recommendations
Here are a few great chalk markers that we’ve tried and recommend, and a photo of what they look like on the window!
The “Chalktastic” and “MRNKI” brand chalk markers give the best, brightest, opaque coverage. But, they do have an extra step when you get them…you have to shake them up and push the tip down for a few seconds to get a flow of liquid chalk. These show up great through the window too! The Expo neon window markers were fun too for neon colors…not as bright as chalk markers but they are super easy to just open the cap and use, like kids are used to. The Crayola “Crystal Effects” are really fun! They are really hard to see while you are coloring, but as the ink dries, you get a crystallized effect on the window. We used these markers for the sun and some of the water in this design.
Yesterday I removed some window paint that had been on my vehicle for a month and a half! In general it still looked great…just now starting to crinkle in one spot. But, it was time to take it off. Here’s a video of how the removal went!
Last month I removed the super fun birthday Yoda painting I did, however, due to user error my GoPro did not record it. It was a bit more stubborn to get off, but came off nice and clean!