Frank Lloyd Wright House ImageWhile every home project is important, working on a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Virginia Beach was still special for the technicians of H.J. Holtz & Son. The task – to put it simply – was to refinish and repaint every inch of the home.

The house, built for Andrew & Maude Cooke largely after Frank Lloyd Wright’s death, showcases many of the American architect’s signature features: an irregular and uninterrupted ceiling that floats over room dividers; wood paneling throughout with built-in shelves and furniture; and unexpected angles.

The current owner, who purchased the house in 2016, says his goal was to return the private residence to its original state, but with updated kitchen and bathrooms. “I want to live comfortably,” he says, “but I also want to respect the integrity of the house.”

Respecting the integrity was the focal point for company president Rick Holtz, who began by taking a small sample of paneling from a hidden location behind a bed. Back in Richmond, Holtz experimented with different techniques to find the safest way to remove the varnish and layers of dust that had accumulated over the years.

“The wood just looked old and worn when we started,” Holtz said.

Work initially began on the Frank Lloyd Wright house in Virginia Beach with a liquid stripper. But, Holtz said, the team quickly recommended a different approach.

“The guys realized that using a sander with an attached vacuum was cleaner,” Holtz says. “I thought that was a good suggestion.”

Once the paneling was exposed, the current homeowner decided to keep it simple, opting for a satin finish to let the natural grain shine through. Over six weeks, the team sanded and resealed every inch of wood and also painted the ceiling.

Holtz says that this architectural masterpiece by Frank Lloyd Wright in Virginia Beach wasn’t treated any differently than any other home project. “This house took a little longer, because we were doing everything,” he notes, adding that the all-wood interior leaves little room for error. “When you’re painting, you can use fillers and caulking to manage imperfections, because it’s covered,” Holtz says. “Here, everything shows.”

The homeowner, who hired H.J. Holtz & Son on the basis of recommendations from Richmond kitchen designer Marvin Daniel (, could not be happier.

“I had never heard of [H.J. Holtz & Son],” the homeowner says, “but I feel they probably had more respect for my property than I would ever show for it. They were a real class act.”


Painting your cabinets is a fun way to change the look of your kitchen. But how do you decide what color to choose? Do you want to keep it simple with a classic white, or do you want to spice it up with some color? We spoke with color consultant Keri Tartick of Sherwin Williams for some reasons why it is becoming increasingly popular to choose a color:

  • Additional contrast – with white tile and countertops becoming so common, a color breaks things up and adds some contrast. The same is true for kitchens with white or very light walls.
  • Off-white appliances – several clients that have moved away from white because they have almond appliances, aged white appliances, or a mixture of appliances & do not like the combination of a clean, new white with them (makes the appliances look old/dirty).
  • Function for high traffic families – helps hide fingerprints & dirt a little better…especially with toddlers!
  • The color of the crown molding in the rest of the kitchen. Sometimes clients are not happy with an off white meeting up with a bright white trim, but the trim color is whiter than they want on the cabinets.
  • Personality – It gives you a unique look and allows you to work in a color that you love in a space that is the heart of the house.

Interior designer Avery Sefick thinks the most trending colors in Richmond right now are are gray, greens and blues. To some, gray cabinets can sound drab and boring, but by accenting them with great tile, flooring and surrounding paint, they will actually pop! Anywhere from light blue to navy lacquer, blue tones are an inviting choice and it can change the feel of an entire space. There are so many different hues to choose from. If you finish a cabinet color in a high gloss it highlights the cabinetry and really brings a sophisticated feel to the room!

Painted Cabinet Bright Blue
Painted Cabinets Light Blue

We painted the kitchen of our customer, Joanne Katsantonis, Farrow & Ball Hague Blue.  It looks amazing! We asked Ms. Katsantonis her thoughts on her kitchen and she said, “I had been looking in a lot of magazines and really liked the colored cabinets and especially blue. Many people told me to do the cabinets in white and maybe just the islands in blue, but I just thought the right blue would be more elegant. The hard part was getting the right blue but H.J. Holtz was incredibly helpful. They will paint samples and even change the finishes to get the exact right color. I wanted a high gloss almost lacquer look. Through the samples we ended up finding the perfect blue with the high gloss finish. It created an elegant and modern look. I can not be more thankful for the high quality work and great collaboration with H.J.Holtz and Son.”


Kitchen Cabinets Before


Kitchen Cabinets After

Painted Cabinets Dark Blue

Painted Cabinet Blue Corner View
Painted Cabinets Blue Island

Colored cabinets really boost the interest in the kitchen and become the focal point of the room.  They are fun and bring any home to life! Call us today for a free estimate



Did you ever what to change the look of your red brick? Many people choose to paint their brick, but there is another option — Limewash. What is Limewash you may ask? It originated in Europe and been in existence for thousands of years. We used Romabio on our project, which is similar to a stain and is absorbed by the brick. Paint, on the other hand, adheres to the top of the brick. The result is a beautiful antique look.


We spoke with our customer, Jon Ritting about why he chose this technique, “we decided to lime wash our house for two reasons. First, a friend and brick mason suggested the technique because lime washed brick can still ‘breath’ as opposed to paint which can trap moisture between the paint/brick and interior walls. Furthermore, painted brick requires maintenance and upkeep after several years, whereas lime wash just looks better over time.


“The second reason was about the final aesthetic lime wash offers a house like ours,” Jon continued. “In our opinion, the lime wash on our house accentuates the architecture and style of the house and makes it stand out in the neighborhood.” Jon’s wife, Patti, echoed his sentiments, “the lime wash technique updated our home while keeping the aged look at the same time. It’s the perfect fit for the style of our home, the neighborhood we live in, and the Richmond metropolitan area.”


Applying the limewash is not easy task (the timelapse to the left makes it look easy!). It takes patience and time.  We needed to take into consideration the sun – for that makes the product dry faster. The Ritting’s home had both original brick and newer brick.  The limewash on the original brick dried slowly the but the mortar dried quickly.  However the opposite occurred when it was applied to the newer brick. The newer brick did not absorb the limewash as well, so it simply beaded up and rolled off! The limewash dried very quickly on the newer mortar, though. We had to adjust the way we applied the product so the limewash matched throughout the exterior. We manipulated the thickness of the product by adding water, but had to carefully protect the surroundings because it can fly all over the place.


Below are some pictures of the home:



A stained front door makes a beautiful statement. It represents you and your style and is the first thing most people see when they visit your home. However it also is a big investment that needs maintenance. Doors should be hand cleaned with non abrasive cleaners twice a year to get rid of dirt and any mildew. Depending on how much direct sunlight, water and heat your door receives dictates how often it should be refinished. At H.J. Holtz & Son we can restore your stained woodwork to its former glory.


How often your door needs to be refinished depends on the exposure it receives. Doors under porches or doors that face north in our area tend to get less weather and exposure, so they can go years without refinishing. Doors that are more exposed to the elements or that face south may need to be coated annually. The following is a list of  signs to look for when determining if you door needs to be refinished.

  • Dull surface
  • Dry feeling to the door
  • Raised grain of the wood
  • Noticeable color changes such as light spots or dark streaks
  • Obvious peeling of the varnish

Once you determine that your door needs to be refinished, the first step is to remove all of the hardware and access the wear and tear of the door. Does the whole door need to be striped or just a section?  Either way the worn area needs to be stripped and sanded.

This door below shows how the door has weathered over time.


Stained Door Before Image

Weathered Door Before Image


Once the door has been sanded to raw wood, our craftsmen experiment and mix stains to create test samples, ensuring the stain is the color the customer wants. Having an artistic eye is key to the color matching. Once a stain is chosen it is applied throughout the door’s nooks, crannies and crevices.


The final step is applying the varnish – a minimum of two coats. We like the oil based Silkkens, which comes in many different sheens. When the time is taken to be detailed oriented and precise, a beautiful refinished door is produced.


Stained Door After Refinishing Image

Stained Door After Refinishing Image


These garage doors have lots of fading in the panels and mouldings due to excessive exposure to the sun and rain.


Garage Doors Before Refinishing Image

Close Up of Weathered Garage Doors


Once the doors are sanded, stained and clear coated, they look as good as new!


Garage Doors After Refinishing Image

Garage Doors After Clear Coat

Garage Door Refinished Close Up Image


When you have professionals that take their time and use their experience to refinish stained woodwork, the outcome is amazing. Call H.J. Holtz and Son at (804) 358-4109 for a free estimate so we can make your doors look brand new!




Purchasing a home can be a very exciting time. However, when you purchase an older home that requires a makeover, it can become daunting, especially when the project is of this size and scale. You need to be able to collaborate with a painter that can implement your vision and ideas. Customer Lizzie Cox chose us. Her new home needed a facelift and we were there to help!



The entrance had neutral walls and trim with a black matte door.

Before Entryway Image



In the Foyer we painted the trim, hung the Farrow and Ball Ranelagh wallpaper and painted the door a high gloss finish.

After Entryway Image



The hallway stairs had wood stained risers and a wooden banister along with monochromatic colors above and below the chair rail.

Before Stairway Image



We painted the risers on the steps white, which contrasts nicely with the newly painted black railing. The additional picture molding gives the illusion of wainscoting, which dressed up the foyer.

After Stairway Image



There was a lot of wood stain in the kitchen extending from the beams and carried throughout the trim, the walls and the floors. The cabinets were also wood stained and these elements combined created a closed-in feeling to the kitchen.

Before Kitchen Image

Before Kitchen 2 Image



We degreased, sanded and scraped, primed and painted the cabinets. Then we used our in-house spray booth to apply this beautiful Benjamin Moore White Dove. The light-colored cabinets, trim, ceiling beams and walls brightened and enlarged the kitchen!

After Kitchen Image

After Kitchen 2 Image



This area is an extension of the kitchen with a fireplace at the other end.

Before Fireplace Image



All of the woodwork was painted white, including the bookcase, panels and ceiling beams. Our craftsman Brian Smith whitewashed the fireplace to create this beautiful, uniform look. The brighter walls also make the floor pop!

After Fireplace Image



A second fireplace was also updated.

After 2nd Fireplace Image



The brick on this fireplace was painted black which contrasts beautifully with the wall color.

After 2nd Fireplace Image



The master bedroom had colonial blue moldings with white walls.

Before Bedroom Image



The white walls and white trim created a modern look in this beautiful bedroom.

After Bedroom Image



The heart-of-pine paneled mudroom.

Before Mudroom Image



The mudroom looks fabulous! It is amazing that the knots don’t bleed through the paint. The birch tree woods wallpaper by Cole & Son adds dimension and brightness to the whole space.

After Mudroom Image



This huge sunroom with plenty of windows for viewing the yard had green trim and an exposed brick wall. It was finished with a flagstone floor.

After Sunroom Image

After Sunroom 2 Image



This sunroom looks amazing with the painted brick and trim! The light color in combination with all of the windows creates such a bright, cheery room and brings the outdoors inside. The walls are Feather Down with White Dove trim.

After Sunrom Image

After Sunroom 2 Image

Mrs. Cox had noticed the quality of our craftsmanship through working for designer Suellen Gregory. When I spoke with Mrs. Cox, I asked her why she chose H.J. Holtz and Son. “While working with Suellen I saw the caliber of your work and I love the way you treat clients. I couldn’t imagine working with anyone else.”


She noted that we “work magic” and that she knew exactly what she wanted it to look like.  She knew the skill level of H.J. Holtz and Son could execute what she wanted. There was never any other painter considered and she has not looked back once.


Mrs. Cox also shared that her family loved having our craftsmen in her home.  They would joke with the family while they ate breakfast in the mornings and were missed when the project was completed.


Mrs. Cox is very happy with our work and loves the transformation.  It is stunning to see the before and after pictures.  We are thrilled that our customer loves our work!