An Eye for Detail: Pennsylvania Project Will Always Be One of This Paint Pro’s Top 10 Jobs

Being female in what is still a male-dominated industry may seem like an obstacle to some. But it’s actually been just the opposite for Corissa Cook, who in just two years has built a thriving interior painting business serving the Pittsburgh area.

“The labor industry is seeing a steady increase in female participation, and the support of others seeking a woman’s services creates more opportunity for female generations to come,” says Cook, who markets herself as “The Painting Chick.” A good example is a contemporary 3,600-square-foot home she recently painted for a couple in Wexford, a Pittsburgh suburb.

“These wonderful homeowners make an effort to support female- owned-and-operated businesses,” she says. “They specifically desired a female painter for this job, stating they wanted attention to detail from the multitude of windows to the many accent walls of various colors and beyond.”

A color collaboration

“The homeowners are both psychologists, so they understand the influence of colors on moods and environments,” Cook says. They started with a palette of Sherwin-Williams colors curated by a local designer, and painter and customers took it from there. “Together we walked throughout their amazing home with the palette, carefully considering which colors worked best for each space.”

Knowing her customers were open to suggestions, Cook saw the potential and advocated for some color on the grand ceiling instead of the traditional white.

“After some discussion and the use of several peel-and-stick samples, we settled on Dorian Gray SW 7017 (244-C3) to compliment the beams and natural earth landscape seen through all those fabulous windows,” she says. “We not only used it on the ceiling but also carried it down one wall as a tribute to Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece, Fallingwater.”

Walls painted with Duration Home

Prep and paint

First step was surface prep.

“There were a fair share of dings and signs of use, plus the home hadn’t been painted in years,” Cook says. The 13-room home also has a lot of windows, so Cook spent a lot of time caulking with Sherwin-Williams White Lightning® caulk.

“Just about every baseboard and all seams of those lovely windows required being sealed for a flawless finish,” she says. “For reference, seven tubes of caulk were used on just the great room alone.”

Some of the trim had previously been painted with oil-based paint while some was coated with latex. Cook used Emerald® Urethane Trim Enamel on all trim.

“Using one product that can cover any substrate and give a hard, great finish makes this my go-to product for trim, every time,” she says.

Wexford PA home interior painted with Duration Home and Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel

Her choice for walls was Duration Home® Interior Acrylic Latex.

“It’s my go-to paint for durability, great coverage and anti-microbial agents to combat mold or mildew,” Cook says. “This home has two active larger dogs and a history of water concerns, so combine all that with a price point the homeowners were happy with, and Duration was a win!”

Another big win for Cook is the excellent customer service she gets from her paint supplier.

“Sherwin-Williams is my go-to for everything from paint and equipment to advice and support,” she says. “I visit the store in person to browse products and converse with all the staff frequently as well as utilize the free delivery service. Paint delivery saves this girl’s short arms from lifting those 5-gallon buckets in and out of the truck so I can spend that energy on the job. The PRO+ app is my go-to for ordering paint and products. It is the perfect tool a busy mom needs to use anytime, anywhere, from early-morning bus stop pick-ups to evening rink-side hockey games. I’m now adding wallpaper and wood feature walls to my services with the help of Sherwin-Williams guidance and products.”

Paint pro Corissa Cook with Sherwin-Williams reps

Corissa Cook with Sherwin-Williams reps Shannon Ferguson (left) and Cassidy Wolford (right)

A top 10 job

No matter where her painting career takes her, this project will always be memorable for Cook.

“This job was very special in many ways and will always remain one of my top 10 favorites,” she says. “The homeowners were fabulous to work with and sought out a female-owned and operated business to support local women in their area. I had the entire home to myself for three solid weeks before it was occupied. The architecture and beautiful landscape made it peaceful and fun at the same time. Lastly, giving it a total, much needed refresh in order to bring out all its lovely features for the new homeowners to enjoy – that is what painting is all about. Amazing what paint, when done well, can do in a space!”

This article was originally published in the Spring 2024 issue of PPC magazine. ©2024 Fusable. Story by Mike Starling, PPC Editor. Photography by Chandler Crowell. Read about other successful painting projects in the PPC magazine archive.