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Emphasize the Beauty of Your Home

Give it a Fresh Coat of Color With Chileen Painting, Inc.

Family businesses are the foundation of many communities and Chileen Painting, Inc. is no exception. 

In the 1990s, Greg Chileen had just finished serving a four-year stint in the United States Marine Corps when he decided to move to the Twin Cities and open Chileen Painting, Inc. – an extension of his relative’s enterprise.

“I didn’t exactly plan to get into the business, but after working with my father, I realized I really did like it,” he says. “Now, I enjoy being my own boss and every job is a little bit different. I also like meeting new people and getting to hear stories about their lives.”

Chileen Painting has a long family history and it started with Greg’s Uncles.

John and Delbert Chileen created the original painting business during 1940 in Chicago – where they lived and already owned a paint store. Later, they brought in their five brothers to assist due to the business' fast success.

Eventually, Lester Chileen – Greg’s father – moved to Crosby, Minnesota, and with him came Chileen Painting. Lester has since retired.  

Today, Greg and his son, Hunter, work together as third and fourth generation painters.

“He’s been working for me since he graduated high school and even before that,” says Greg. “He's really taken it on and is serious about it. It's very enjoyable to teach him the ropes on how things work.”

The duo plan to carry on their family’s legacy through new projects and great customer service.

One of their specialties is restoring old homes. “A new homeowner will buy a house from say someone in uptown and the house hasn't been touched since the ’60s,” Greg says. “We’ll completely restore the outside to bring it up to date and return it to its original beauty.”

Older homes’ interiors are also often in need of updating as well. “A lot of times, some of these older houses have wood moldings that are not accurate for the age of the home,” says Greg. “They’re too modern. So, we'll put in the right kind of moldings that would fit a house built a hundred years ago. Many of the projects we do are very detailed and we’re sometimes on one job for months.” 

When it comes to exterior paint colors, he says customers’ preferences are getting a little bolder than they were in the past. “Years ago, most people were going with more of the earth tones, but now they’re being a lot braver with colors as opposed to just having their house blend into the neighborhood.”

One customer even asked to have their house painted purple! “After we were done, the owners and the people in the neighborhood really liked it,” says Greg.

Indoors, while light gray tones are still a popular choice, the deeper, darker grays are becoming more popular. 

In addition to interior painting, Greg and his team can handle water damage, patching and enameling.  Textured surfaces that were popular in the 1960s to ’80s can be removed to make a house more up to its original smooth finishes. 

Greg is involved in all the projects undertaken by Chileen and runs about two or three crews at a time while paying close attention to detail. “I don't want to get too big where I'm running crews everywhere at once because then it's really hard to ensure good quality,” he says. “This way, customers are getting more one-on-one attention than if they hire a company with 20 crews.”

He is also very big on communication and believes it’s important to know homeowners’ expectations before getting started. “Once that’s clear, I then supervise to make sure all the steps are being taken and everything gets done the way it should so the home will have an awesome appearance when finished,” says Greg.

Another thing he says sets Chileen apart is that they do a lot of carpentry work. “Projects that most homeowners normally would have to hire a different carpentry crew or remodeling company to do, like replacing siding, we can do. And while we don’t do any tiling or electrical work, we can recommend people we trust.”

Greg and his wife, Nicole, are both originally from the Brainerd Lakes area and graduated from Crosby-Ironton High School. They go back in the summers to visit their parents and love traveling to Jamaica every December before Greg’s busy season starts in the spring.

“We also do a lot of hiking,” he says. “I have three daughters and one lives in Idaho, so we travel out there and like going through Yellowstone. We’re very adventurous – I run Grandma’s Marathon every June.”

To find out how Greg, Hunter and their crews can make your home a star in your neighborhood, go to