About

Hester Painting & Decorating have been the experts in residential painting in the Chicagoland area since 1968, including the Gold Coast, Winnetka, Kenilworth, Highland Park, and the rest of the North Shore. We specialize in painting new construction and existing homes, both interiors and exteriors.

Our Mission

We strive to continue the tradition of our founder, Tom Hester, in providing unparalleled customer service, the highest quality craftsmanship, individual and business integrity, and outstanding creativity to all of our clients looking for the very best in painting and faux finishing.

Hester Painting & Decorating has been providing homes and select commercial establishments with high-end painting and decorating services since 1968. Family patriarch, Tom Hester, founded the company, wanting to be known as the “best painting contractor around”. Now, over five decades and three generations later, Hester Painting & Decorating remains dedicated to Tom’s goal. Since 2013 we have been voted  Best Painter by the readers of  Better Magazine, and Best of Houzz for Customer Service for numerous years.

Hester Painting & Decorating boasts more than 60 skilled painters and craftsmen. By instilling pride in our concept and services while providing year-round work to our painters, we retain the brightest and most talented painters in the industry.  Our painters and supervisors also regularly attend training seminars in order to keep up with the newest and most unique faux and specialty finishes.

In fact, the Industry-leading Franklin Report gives Hester Painting & Decorating a Consumer Approval Rating of over 99% satisfaction.

We feel very fortunate for our 53 years of success. One way of showing our appreciation is through giving back. Another is by paying it forward as several members of our team are involved in the training of aspiring painters and provide consultation on local and national painting contractor boards.

Our work speaks for itself! Enjoy browsing our portfolio for ideas and inspiration for your home!

Meet The Team

President

Steve Hester

Since 1996 Stephen Hester has been at the helm of Hester Painting & Decorating. He has provided a vision for the future of the company, as well as management, finance, legal, and marketing expertise. Stephen is a member of the Young President's Organization (YPO) and is active in Chicagoland's civic and philanthropic communities. He earned an MBA from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management in 2004 and received a Bachelor's degree in 1990 from the University of Miami in Florida where he graduated cum laude with a degree in real estate finance. He is a co-founder of the Commercial Painting Industry Association. (www.thecpia.com)

Hester Painting & Decorating celebrated 50 years in business in 2018. Over twenty years ago Stephen saw the potential to expand the company from one that offered 100% high-end residential work to include the commercial market as well. That decision helped the company greatly expand its revenues. Today Hester Painting & Decorating provides its well-reputed service to residential and commercial clients throughout Chicagoland and across the country.

Vice President and Sr. Project Manager for Suburban Residential

Jeff Hester

Jeff Hester has dedicated his career to residential painting and decorating work. He specializes in faux finishes and custom color matching. The Exterior Maintenance Program and the specialty finishes showroom are just two of Jeff’s many marketing innovations. He has also been featured on radio and television, and soon, YouTube, as "Professor Paint", an expert resource for painting and faux finishing related topics.

Jeff is President of Finishing Contractors Association of Chicago, and he serves as a trustee on the board of the union-run apprentice painting school, which operates a 120-week, three-year program and the union pension fund.

Like his father, Jeff studied the painting trade at Chicago’s Washburne Trade School. He joined the company in 1978.

Sr. Project Manager for Downtown Residential

Scott Hamilton

A master faux finisher, Scott specializes in marbleizing and wood graining, two highly specialized faux finishes offered by Hester Painting & Decorating. Scott has been working in painting and faux finishing since 1985, and in 1989 started with Hester Painting & Decorating.

Scott was promoted to superintendent and estimator for the city in 2002 and has flourished in this role. Scott attended Chicago’s Washburne Trade School and participated in the industry apprentice program. He also has a background in architectural drafting and art.

Commercial Division Manager and Sr. Project Manager

John Jacob

John Jacob brings a wealth of commercial painting expertise to Hester Painting & Decorating and its customers. With more than 32 years of industry field applications and managerial experience, John leads Hester Painting & Decorating's Commercial Painting Division, which was launched in 2000. John also provided the initial guidance in developing our new estimating software with the use of production rates. John has been a leader in creating new business with many new General Contractors and Building management teams throughout the Chicagoland area.

John attended Chicago's Washburne Trade School and is a National Wall Covering Panel Contest winner.

Sr. Project Manager for Commercial

Mike Kallas

Mike Kallas started with Hester Commercial Painting in 2007 bringing with him vast experience in maintenance and property management work. His niche is working with general contractors with health care projects.

Prior to joining Hester he owned his own company for 14 years. He graduated from Triton College in 1979 and Washbourne Trade School in 1982.

Sr. Project Manager for Commercial

Jim Guthrie

Jim Guthrie started with Hester Commercial Painting in 2010 and specializes in large projects and high performance coatings, as well as QA/QC. In 2012 one of his projects won the prestigious PIPP award and American Painting Contractor Magazine’s Top Job Award. “Hester won the project on successful service, not price,” he said.

Jim received his BS in Construction Management and Engineering from North Dakota State University. While he started out in carpentry, he has been in the painting business since 1988.

Project Consultant

Norm VanKampen

With several decades of commercial painting experience under his belt, Norm VanKampen joined Hester Commercial Painting in 2004, bringing with him longstanding client relationships.

Norm owned his own company for 27 years before that, and adds valuable skill and knowledge to the Hester Commercial Painting team.

Controller and Human Resources

Christopher Hester

Christopher Hester is the first member of the third generation of the family to join the company. He is Jeff Hester’s oldest son. Christopher started out in 2002 as one of the truck drivers, and then transitioned into the management office handling safety coordinator and all IT related functions. Currently, he is the controller, assists with human resources and coordinates the placement of the painting crews for all of the commercial projects.
Director of Marketing and Community Management

Heather Hester

Heather Hester has joined Hester Painting & Decorating to help with marketing efforts and keep the messaging of the company consistent across all media and remain true to the HPD mission that was established over 50 years ago. Heather focuses on brand recognition and awareness advocacy, as well as maintaining all communication channels as the Director of Marketing.
Management

Rob Blaine

Rob Blaine has held many roles at Hester. He currently assists with many management functions. Rob has worked at Hester since 2012.
Purchasing Manager

Sam Aburto-Barajas

Sam has been with the company since 2014. He handles all purchasing for materials and sundries.
Commercial Estimator and Project Manager

Dino Aseoche

Dino has been in the paint business for 32 years, specifically estimating since 2014. He has certifications in the following areas: KTA Tator on Paint and Coatings (1992), GRACO technician (2001), Green Advantage Environmental/Sustainable Construction (2014).

Awards and Accolades

  • 1997 PIPP First Place – Faux Finishes Type III – “Clifton Residence Great Room”
  • 1998 PIPP Award – Faux Finishes Type III – “The Ryan Residence”
  • 1999 ASID Appreciation Award
  • 2002 PIPP Award Wallcoverings Category III – “Gracie Paper Installation” 
  • 2002 PIPP Award Faux Finish Category III “Downtown Chicago Residence”
  • 2002 Home Book Design Excellence Award – Silver Award Fabrics, Wallcoverings, & Upholstery
  • 2002 Home Book Design Excellence Award – Bronze Award Fabrics, Wallcoverings, & Upholstery
  • 2002 Home Book Design Excellence Award – Honorable Mention  Fabrics, Wallcoverings, & Upholstery
  • 2003 Home Book Design Excellence Award – Gold Winner  Fabrics, Wallcoverings, & Upholstery
  • 2003 PIPP Award Residential Faux Finish Type III – “Grand Beach, Michigan Residence”
  • 2004 Illinois Family Business of the Year Winner – Medium Business Category
  • 2006 PIPP Award for Superior Commitment to Safety in Work Place
  • 2006 North Shore Magazine Make It Better – Best House Painter
  • 2006 Top Specialty Contractors – Midwest Construction
  • 2007 North Shore Magazine Make It Better – Best House Painter
  • 2007 PIPP Award – Residential Decorative Faux II
  • 2007 American Painting Contractor Who’s Who in the Painting Industry – Mr. Hester
  • 2009 PIPP Award Residential Wallcovering
  • 2009 Star Performance Award
  • 2010 PIPP Award Charity Paint Project – “Coach Care Center”
  • 2012 PIPP Award  Commercial Interior Painting
  • 2013 Make It Better Magazine – Best Painter
  • 2014 Best of Houzz Award – Service Category
  • 2014 Make It Better Magazine – Best Painter
  • 2015 Best of Houzz – Service Category
  • 2015 PIPP Award – Charity Paint Project – “Wilmette Theatre”
  • 2015 Make It Better Magazine – Best Painter
  • 2016 PDCA PIPP Award – Commercial Interior
  • 2016 Best of Houzz – Service Category
  • 2017 Pulse of the City News Award – Customer Service
  • 2018 *EXCELLENT* Contractor Score – 1337
  • 2018 Make It Better Faces of Chicago
  • 2018 Make It Better Magazine – Best Interior Painter
  • 2018 Make It Better Magazine – Best Exterior Painter
  • 2019 *EXCELLENT* Contractor Score – 1342
  • 2019 Best of Houzz – Service Category
  • 2019 Pulse of the City News Award – Customer Service
  • 2019 Make It Better Magazine – Best Interior Painter
  • 2019 Make It Better Magazine – Best Exterior Painter
  • 2020 *EXCELLENT* Contractor Score – 1428
  • 2020 Hold Tight – Contractor Community Champion
  • 2020 Better Magazine – Best Interior Painter
  • 2020 Better Magazine – Best Exterior Painter
  • 2021 Build Magazine, Build Home Builder Awards – Best Chicagoland Painting Contractor in 2021
  • 2021 Better Magazine – Best Painting
  • 2021 Best of Houzz – Service Category