Homeowners looking for impact will be delighted with the high-gloss finishes offered by Fine Paints of Europe, which are used exclusively by H.J. Holtz & Son for gloss jobs.

“There’s nothing better,” says company president Rick Holtz. “People just can’t believe what these paints can do.”

Fine Paints of Europe (FPE), headquartered in Vermont, is the sole U.S. importer of paints and finishes made in the Netherlands by Wijzonol Bouwverven B.V. In Europe, the parent company’s focus is on pigments, which are sold worldwide.

Why We Use Fine Paints of Europe

What sets the company’s paints apart is their base paste, says FPE’s Emmett Fiore, color strategist and paint consultant. Every FPE paint has a foundation that is 100% titanium dioxide. Other manufacturers use chalk and fillers to build content in their paints, which destabilizes the mixture, leading to poor outcomes. By contrast, FPE paints have intense, luminous color, and the high-gloss finishes last for years.

“You can pay three times in 15 years, or once in 15 years,” Fiore says. “You pay in the beginning, or you pay down the road.”

Where to Use Gloss Paint

Many homeowners seek out high-gloss paints for their front doors – looking to create a great first impression – but gloss paint can be used anywhere in the house. Fiore says handrails, kitchen countertops and cabinets, walls and even ceilings all good locations for high-gloss paint.

“High-gloss rooms are the new stained glass,” Fiore says. “The ‘accent ceiling’ has replaced the ‘accent wall’ in popularity. All phenoms like this are an actualization of our inner selves and aesthetic sensibilities. When it’s done correctly, it looks awesome.”

Preparation Pays Off

“I know a lot of homeowners who do their own painting,” he says. “Nothing looks worse than a high-gloss job done poorly. You have to deal with dust, divots in the surface…every imperfection will show.”

While Fiore consults with DIY homeowners, the company also trains contractors and maintains a list of those qualified on the FPE website. Fiore notes that H.J. Holtz & Son holds a Master Certified Painting Contractor designation, a mark of how much experience the company has with FPE products.

“Rick [Holtz] was ahead of the curve on discovering us,” Fiore says, adding that Holtz & Son began ordering paint directly from FPE more than a decade ago and now purchases through Palette Paint & Home in Richmond. “Holtz folks care, and they know their stuff. Plus, they are really nice people. That’s the bonus.”

In the end, Fiore says, the average person needs to rely on the contractor they’ve hired. Even if the job is as simple as a piece of furniture or a front door, that job is important.

“It’s the little things that make you happy in your house,” he says. “It’s leaving part of yourself in that project.”



Fall is in the air! This is one of our favorite times of the year because the weather is at its best yet everyone is making the transition back to home. In the summer we tend to spend more time outdoors, traveling and attending summer barbecues, but in the fall, we’re found baking apple pies, carving pumpkins for the front porch and observing the leaves changing colors – all things that take place at the heart of home.

Another one of our favorite parts about the season: decorating!

Below are practical, fun and easy fall decorating tips for welcoming the season into your home with open arms!

Bring in Hints of New Color

Popular colors for autumn include shades of red, orange and brown. These also happen to be trendy colors in general, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding decor in these hues! Think: throw pillows, candlesticks, fresh/fake flowers, table accessories and accent rugs. Combine them into your home with a neutral or contrasting base that will have your home feeling cozy and fall-like in no time!

Add Natural Elements

Fall is tied to trees, leaves and seasonal flowers like mums and sunflowers. Combine natural or woodsy accessories that bring some of the outdoors in. For instance, clean out a dusty glass jar and fill it with dried flowers and twigs. Or, update your old potpourri with fresh acorns and cinnamon sticks. Other smart ideas include dried berries, small pumpkins and gourds, twine and wooden accent pieces.

Create a Soft Glow with Candles

Candles bring us warmth and subtle light, which is perfect for the fall season! You can purchase candlesticks in neutral colors and add colorful ribbon or accents, or you can keep them plain and buy the sticks in various colors. Flameless candles are also a great option because you can place them anywhere and not have to worry about the flame. Most are available in sets with the option to set a timer.

Implement Warmth

If your home still has a summery feel, it may be because you made it bright and airy for the summer. Implement warmth into your home by adding throw blankets to the couch, woolly rugs near the seating area and a basket of apples on the table. Seating should be faced close together so that people can talk. If you have a fireplace, arrange the seating around that for an ultra-cozy feel!



At H.J. Holtz & Son our talented craftsmen are often asked to create a painted graphic for our customers.  A painted graphic can be anything from a pattern to a stripe… whatever the customer desires! Below are some examples of what our talented artists can do.

Painted graphic stencil Image

Chalk Graphic Image

Recently we did a unique project with Janie Molster Designs, for Initiate-It, a local marketing firm, and it looks amazing!  Using a word bank supplied by Initiate-It, our artists spread out across the wall, stenciling the words in chalk within the flow of a swirl. Emulating different fonts, widths, depth and height of letters; they used assorted brushes with different widths and sporadically placed color down the wall.



The finished product is an inspirational “graffiti” wall which showcases the ability of our artists to blend their improvisational skills and creativity into one.


The stripes on this wall is also an example of a painted graphic. The stripes are created by taping off the area, painting, then reverse painting. Notice that the whiteboard looks 3D!




This commercial garage is another example of a painted graphic. At first glance you may not notice all of the different shades in each geometric ribbon, though upon closer inspection you can see all detail that went into these walls. The colors and shape add interest while helping users find their car more easily.


A painted graphic is not exclusive to commercial buildings. In this homeowner’s garage we painted the faux chair rail. Graphic paint can be as simple as a single stripe in a room! In this situation the simple stripe divides the top and bottom color.


Or it can be complex like this this beautiful compass rose we painted in the Southern Traditions Homearama home in Hallsley. You can see the multiple colors used to create the depth of the arms and the light blue accent rings. The compass rose adds interest to the room and centers the light fixture in the nautical themed space.




Stenciling is another type of a painted graphic! Our own logo was stencil painted on the exterior of our building. Using the stencil kept the blue from bleeding into the red and white, recreating our logo at an astounding size. If you would like to explore including a painted graphic in your home or business give us a call for a free estimate.



Did you know that “wallpaper” is no longer called “wallpaper?” It is now called “wallcovering” because there are so many different materials being hung on walls and ceilings! Adding wallcovering can add a pattern, texture, color, or a scene and can change the entire look of a room! Let’s review some trends in wallcoverings.


Designers are recommending single artist wallcoverings. Lindsay Cowles, a local decorative artist, digitally manipulates her paintings into patterns for wallcoverings. We installed her wallcovering in the bathroom in the 2016 Symphony House at Pineapple Acre.

Lindsay Cowles Decorative Wallcovering Image

Lindsay Cowles decorative wallcovering image


We are applying wallcovering on ceilings! In the photo below the wallcovering is adding interest and pattern to the ceiling, complementing the hand distressed walls.

Decorative Ceiling wallcovering image

Decorative ceiling wallcovering image


Decorative ceiling wallcovering image

Natural grass cloths are extremely popular right now. From sisal, jute, hemp, to linens, these wallcoverings can come in a variety of patterns and colors.

Natural grass wallcovering image

Natural grass wallcovering image


Hanging scenes is a beautiful look as well. Depending on the style, they can be used in residential homes, commercial buildings, or museums.

Hanging Scene Wallcovering Image

Hanging Scene Wallcovering image

Hanging Scene Wallcovering Image

Hanging Scene Wallcovering Image


Below is a MDC commercial wallcovering. Created from plastic, this wallcovering is extremely durable. Not only is it strong but it gives dimension and a modern feel in this Rocketts Landing penthouse.

Penthouse Wallcovering Image

Penthouse Wallcovering Image

We are members of the WIA, the Wallcovering Installers Association. Per their website, “The Wallcovering Installers Association is an organization of wallcovering installers dedicated to superior craftsmanship in the hanging of every type of wallcovering. We are an industry leader in the advancement in the use of wallcoverings in residential and commercial environments. Our members pride themselves in staying current with state-of-the art methods for wallcovering installation and wallpaper removal in addition to preserving the time-honored practices of installing historic wall hangings.”


Our master wallcovering hanger, Jeff Ragland, says the WIA is an excellent resource for wallcovering hangers. The WIA community works together to learn how to use new products, solve problems and improve skills. They have conventions and workshops, plus tools you can purchase that may be difficult to attain locally. Jeff has taught classes in our shop and attended classes hosted by the WIA. The networking is unbelievable and it is not unusual for hangers from other companies to travel to a job if they have more experience with the material. Jeff has installed in several states, working with his peers. It is a great asset to our company to belong to such a valuable organization and our hangers optimize their skills by utilizing the offerings they have.



We recently earned a unique designation from one of our premier industry partners, Fine Paints of Europe. While we have been one of their certified painters (one of only 2 in the state of Virginia) since 2009, we have now been designated as a “Master Certified Painter.” There are currently only 11 in the country!

What does it mean to be a Master Certified Painter?

Fine Paints of Europe

The coatings offered by Fine Paints of Europe are not your everyday paints. Formulated to stringent European standards from the highest quality ingredients, they can be a challenge to work with. But oh is it worth the effort! Europeans typically move less often and therefore expect the paint on their walls and doors to resist wear and last longer. Our Fine Paints of Europe projects have lasted many years and often look as beautiful today as when we did the work.

For one, our clients have come to value the high gloss finish that is possible. This finish translates into a serious “wow” effect when used on front doors and is a great choice for furniture to ensure a durable surface. The dramatic green entryway to the left is an excellent example of what is possible (this showcase of our work has been a fixture on the Fine Paints of Europe website for years, by the way).

This post is simply to share our excitement about another recognition of our team’s craftsmanship. The Master Certified Painter designation is not something we had to jump through hoops to achieve. Instead, it is a recognition of the rigorous surface preparation skills we have developed and the care we take in applying a surface coating.

If you’re wondering why you might choose a premium paint like Fine Paints of Europe, feel free to give us a call, or stop by our trusted partner Palette Paint and Home of Richmond and Charlottesville, to learn more.



FARROW & BALLWhen you see the name Farrow & Ball, it may conjure up images of expensive English designer paint and wallpaper. As a residential paint and wallpaper contractor, I am familiar with their products and would use them when I had to. I have to admit that I did not appreciate their full value. However, several weeks ago that all changed. I was fortunate enough to win a trip to visit their headquarters and manufacturing facility in Dorsett, England. There I saw first hand what makes Farrow & Ball unique. I was one of the first five American paint contractors to ever be invited to their headquarters and manufacturing facility!

Upon arrival we were invited into their showroom, which was quite different from a normal showroom. The paint colors and wallpaper patterns are the focus, arranged like art in a museum or books in a library.



Farrow & Ball Facility in England

Farrow & Ball has been in existence since 1946. The company really carved out a niche for itself in the 1990’s when they introduced their 132 color palette and handmade wallpapers to the interior design world. They are now owned by an American investment firm and run by a Board of Directors. I immediately felt connected to their company and values because they parallel ours at H.J.Holtz and Son.

Farrow & Ball Facility in England

These values are honesty, excellence, team, passionate, quirky and courageous. They do not want to be the biggest paint and wallpaper company, they just want to be the best they can be.


paint and wallpapersThis starts with the way they manufacture their paint and wallpapers. Every can of paint or roll of wallpaper that gets shipped to more than 67 countries worldwide is handmade and checked for quality in their factory. This not only ensures a quality product when you receive it, but that same gallon of paint or wallpaper meets the most stringent standards in countries such as Japan and Germany. They use the best ingredients and more pigment, which in turn creates not only great colors, but finishes that are extremely durable.


The highlight of my visit to the factory was watching the wallpaper being made. All of their wallpaper is made on one of six lines. Two lines use a screen technique to create patterns, two lines use a roller technique and the last two lines use rollers to create stripe patterns. They use their paint and colors on the wallpaper which is great for coordinating with painted surfaces.

paint and wallpaper contractors wallpaper contractorsFarrow & Ball wants to grow a loyal following of American paint and wallpaper contractors. Not only did they educate us on the quality of their products, but gathered feedback on what we want and need from a high end paint and wallpaper manufacturer. I left feeling informed and educated on Farrow & Ball products and why we should use them more in our business. Whenever I see a Farrow & Ball paint can or box of wallpaper, I no longer think of a large faceless company, I visualize all of the employees that use their hands and minds to create some of the highest quality, aesthetically pleasing paint colors and wallpaper available.



If you ever thought about Farrow & Ball paint or wallpaper for your home but were unsure whether it was a good value, call us and I would be happy to share my thoughts. Our local retailer Palette Paint and Home in Richmond and Charlottesville is also a wonderful place to start if you need help with Farrow & Ball products and color choices.