1. Golden Gardens. The name is a bit deceiving, but those of us from town know that Golden Gardens is not a garden but one of the best beaches in Seattle. Situated on the Western edge of Ballard, Golden Gardens offers a sandy beach with amazing views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountain Range. During the summer, the beach is a popular spot for locals and visitors to gather and soak up the sun. A snack bar provides refreshments during the day, and fire pits are a great place to gather when it cools off in the evening.
2. Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (Ballard Locks). Venturing back into town from Golden Gardens, you almost pass the Locks without knowing it. Situated on the waterfront, the Locks are a popular spot for locals and tourists to enjoy. You walk through a brilliant garden, the Carl S. English Junior Botanical Gardens, before you reach the Locks. It’s worth the wait for a boat to come, as an assortment of everything from a kayak to a yacht get situated into a small space then raised to the lake or lowered to the sea. Cross the dam and discover the fish ladders. Take advantage of a sunny afternoon and set up a picnic at the park to watch the boats sail inland for the evening.
3. Sunday Farmer’s Market. Every Sunday, rain or shine, the farmer’s market takes over Ballard Avenue in downtown Ballard. It’s a great place for families and young adults alike to find organic produce, fresh flowers or a delicious lunch. Browse through booths with handmade soaps, treats and gifts. Street musicians provide entertainment while you wander through the market
4. Carkeek Park. Located a little north of Ballard, but nonetheless as enchanting. You would have to know Carkeek Park is there in order to find it. Wander through a forested area and end up in a hillside park overlooking the Puget Sound with breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountains. It’s an ideal setting for a family gathering. There are covered picnic areas with barbeques, and a playground area for kids. Take the walking bridge over the train tracks and down to the beachfront. Be sure to time it so you can experience the rush as the train passes right below you, quite incredible!
5. Nightlife. Ballard is transitioning to a younger crowd. There are plenty of small bars and restaurants to accommodate a healthy nightlife in Ballard. Down on Ballard Ave., the streets light up with activity, just make sure you’re prepared to be patient with parking.
6. Cafés & Restaurants. Some of the best dining experiences are found in Ballard. Head out to the beach and dine at one of the restaurants that overlook the Sound. Drive down Market and discover everything from sushi to Mexican to Italian. There are hidden gems off the beaten path too, go for a walk through the neighborhoods and you’ll probably stumble upon your new favorite spot.
By CertaPro Painters of North Seattle
By CertaPro Painters of North Seattle
You’re considering painting your house this summer, why not brush up on some painting knowledge? Be ready to ask the right questions and make sure you’re making the best decisions for you and your home. Here is some paint terminology to get you started:
1. SHEEN is the level of shine in a paint, for example egg-shell, semi-gloss or matte. Different paint manufacturers offer varying levels of sheen in their products, and may use unique terminology such as “low-luster” or “velvet”. Usually paint stores will have examples available so you can see it before you commit. Beyond aesthetic factors, higher sheens indicate higher durability in most cases, so it’s important to do some research to determine what level of sheen is appropriate for your project.
2. VOC is an acronym that stands for Volatile Organic Compound. Essentially, VOCs are harmful chemicals that are off-gassed from paint when it dries. VOCs are present in many building materials, and their presence is simply detected with an odor, such as that “new carpet smell.” With environmental laws growing more and more stringent, low and non-VOC paint products are becoming more prevalent.
3. LIGHT REFLECTANCE VALUE is displayed as a numerical value and describes the amount of light a particular color will reflect. A lighter color, for example, will have a higher light reflectance value than a darker color. This information is helpful when your room has limited natural light and you want to find a color that will maximize the light in the room give the illusion of more space. The light reflectance value can usually be found on the backside of a paint color chip. Keep in mind that sheen also has an effect on the light reflectance value, shinier sheens will reflect more light and therefore appear lighter.
4. ENAMEL is a type of coating that is classified by a higher level of sheen and greater durability. Imagine the surfaces in your home, what type of sheen do you see most often on doors and cabinets? These are appropriate places for enamel paint application. These surfaces are more susceptible to wear and tear and therefore need to be protected with an enamel type paint, as opposed to a normal wall paint.
5. LATEX is a binder used in water-based paint. It is commonly used by paint companies to describe a water-based paint in which the principal vehicle is latex. Nowadays, latex paint is more prevalent than oil-based or alkyd paint and coatings, partially due to environmental restrictions.
6. ALKYD is a synthetic resin used in oil-based paints. It is used to indicate a non-water-based paint. It is important to be aware of the chemistry of the paint in order to make sure coatings are compatible to layer. Alkyds will yellow over time.
7. MIL is a unit of measurement that expresses the thickness of the paint. Products will specify the appropriate mil build to ensure the best end result. If applied too thin, a product will not be durable and won’t protect the surface. If applied too thick, the product may not cure properly and there could be paint failures down the road. Painters use mil gauges to determine the mil thickness of their paint job.
8. SUBSTRATE is a fancy term used to describe the surface upon which paint is applied. Examples of substrates include drywall, wood siding, concrete, etc. It’s important to understand the substrate in the painting project to help determine the best paint system (primer, paint, top coat) for the project.
9. FLOW AND LEVELING are two terms typically used together to identify a paint product’s ability to level itself out upon application. A product with excellent flow and leveling will not show any brush marks and will have a very smooth appearance.
10. TANNINS are natural chemicals found in wood. Painted wood shows evidence of tannin stain with a brown discoloration on its surface. This is caused by tannins being drawn to the surface of the paint due to water below the surface or an application of latex paint (which is not necessarily resistant to tannin bleed). It’s important to keep in mind that tannin bleed may take time to be apparent, and its occurrence isn’t completely avoidable. If moisture is the issue, you must find the source of the moisture seeping into the substrate and eliminate the opportunity for more water to enter. Next, remove existing stains with an appropriate cleaner. Apply a primer that has the capacity to block tannin bleed, such as an oil-based primer.
11. MILDEWCIDE is a chemical agent that may be added to paint to resist or prevent the growth of mildew on the paint surface. Most exterior paints inherently contain mildewcide, however it can be added when the paint is tinted.
12. SPOT-PRIMING is the act of priming selective areas, such as places where the paint is chipped off and bare wood is exposed. It might not be necessary to prime the entire surface, so in some cases spot-priming will be sufficient to seal only the areas that need attention.
13. COLORANT AND TINT Colorant is the paint additive that gives paint its color. Tint is the process of adding colorant. Paint stores will stock “bases,” which have a clear or milky appearance, and colorant is added to create the color on the swatch. The container is sealed and the paint is shaken to mix the colorant evenly. This process allows companies to provide a wider range of colors, and allows for customers to get custom colors matched.