20 Helpful Painting Tips

Painting can make a world of difference in  a room – as long as you do it right! Check out these 20 helpful painting tips to make sure you get the most out of your painting project.

  1. Go for the more expensive, better quality paint. Cheaper paint will need to be touched up more often, which negates any money you saved in the first place. The best quality paint has a higher percentage of titanium dioxide, which determines covering ability, and other additives that increase durability.

  2. Shine. Generally, the higher the gloss, the better the finish will stand up to stains, abrasions, and cleaning. Easier-to-wash satin or semigloss paints are good choices for bathrooms and kitchens. Use high-gloss paints for trim, cabinetry, and doors that are in perfect condition.

  3. Color. Light colors tend to open up a room, making it seem lighter and larger while dark hues can add depth and warmth. Before painting a room white, pay attention to how surrounding elements will reflect light and alter the color. For example, green furniture or carpeting might make white walls look light blue or green.

  4. Test before buying. Invest in some sample sizes of the paint color(s) you’re considering and try them out on small sections of the wall. Be sure to look at the color during different points in the day and under different lighting conditions to make sure you like it.

  5. Equipment. Brushes with long, dense bristles are best for latex/water-based paint (nylon) and oil-based paint (natural). A 2-inch angled sash brush, a 3-inch trim brush, and rollers are enough for most jobs.

  6. Prepare. Paint sticks better to and looks better on clean, dry, non-glossy surfaces. So, if you want the best results, do the prep work. Scrape off flaking paint, fill holes with spackling compound, and sand your walls before doing anything.

  7. Start at the top and work your way to the bottom of the wall for best results. That means start with the ceiling, move to any crown molding and/or trim around windows and doors, then the baseboards, and finally, paint the walls.

  8. Apply Painter’s Tape in no more than 8-10 inch sections at a time to be certain of a straight edge. Smooth the edges with a putty knife, wait until paint is dry to the touch, and remove the tape slowly at a 45-degree angle.

  9. Use High-Quality Brushes. Just as with choosing your paint, it’s important to invest in your brushes. High-quality brushes apply paint in a thick, smooth film. Examine a brush for a good taper, with bristles in the center slightly longer than those at the edge.

  10. Mix for uniform color. If you’re using more than one gallon of a certain color paint, mix all of it together in a larger bucket. This is the best way to make sure that all of the paint is the same color.

  11. Store extra paint successfully by adding a gasket between the cover and the can using a circle cut from a heavy-duty trash bag. Spray vegetable oil on one side of the bag and set it on the can with the lid on top of the plastic, then tap the lid to seat it in the well. Store the can upside down in a room that maintains a fairly consistent temperature.

  12. Primer first. Primer makes the best surface for paint and allows for the paint’s true color to shine through.

  13. Know how much you need. Professionals recommend one gallon of paint for every 400 square feet of wall/surface.

  14. Don’t save this for a rainy day. High humidity and moisture in the air prevents water-based paint from drying properly.

  15. Tape off doorknobs and other fixtures that you don’t want to get paint on before you start.

  16. Stop painting once an area is dry. Going over it again can leave marks and color streaks.

  17. Cover your floor with a drop cloth before starting to paint.

  18. Remove wall plates (over electrical outlets and light switches) before painting.

  19. Paint as much as you can with a roller and save the brush for small spots.

  20. Be patient. Don’t ruin the paint job by not allowing for things to dry completely before touching.

For more painting tips, check out this DIY Network article and this one from BHG.

 

Susan Rupert Blog Sig

Hiring A Home Improvement Contractor

Home improvement projects tend to be ones that linger over time.  When your budget is tight, they get put on the back burner and aren’t seen as a necessity.  Because of this, there are a lot of contractors out there who are hungry for work; however, finding the right one for your project may be difficult.

Here are a few tips to remember in your process of finding the right home improvement contractor.

Ask for Referrals from Friends and Family

Personally asking your friends and family is probably the easiest way to find a home improvement contractor.  You will be able to hear their honest opinions and see the work of the contractor first-hand.

Using social media is also a really easy way to find a contractor.  Take your search to Facebook and ask for referrals and images of projects completed.  Who knows, you might find great options without having to look very hard.

Check the Contractor’s References

If a potential contractor has a list of references that is miles long, that is a good sign.  Depending on how long they’ve been in the business, they are bound to have a number of happy customers.  Contact a few of the references on the list to see how their home improvement projects went and if they were happy with the outcome.

Come to an Agreement

Come to an agreement with your contractor and have it in writing.  Having a formal agreement can prevent a big issue if something goes wrong down the road. For example, if the contractor doesn’t complete the project on time or doesn’t pay for supplies, then you will have a signed document to refer to that states whose responsibility it is to cover the fees.

When to Avoid a Home Improvement Contractor

The abundance of contactors is great for homeowners interested in improving their homes.  But how do you distinguish between the good and the bad?  If a contractor wants to skip the process of obtaining a permit, that’s a red flag.  Any major home improvement project legally requires a building permit, and inspectors will check the work throughout the process as well as at the end. Hiring a contractor who doesn’t want a permit just shows you that he doesn’t want his work inspected by someone else.

Also avoid a contractor who sought you out or demands to be paid in cash, this sounds like an obvious statement; however, when people are excited to improve their home, this isn’t something that is considered.  Ultimately, the most important thing you can do is use your best judgment; if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

Home improvement projects can bring a lot of value to your home.  It should be exciting and rewarding; so find a contractor you love to make your project a positive experience.

For more information on finding a home improvement contractor that you will love, visit here.

5 Landscaping Tips for Homeowners

The first thing potential buyers see when they’re searching for their dream home is the front yard. Even if the inside of your home is beautiful, the buyer could be turned off by the amount of landscaping work they will have to put in right when they move in. Here are five landscaping tips for you to give your home the best curb appeal.

Clean

This is one of the easiest ways to create curb appeal. Completely clear your yard of dead foliage and tree branches. If you have plants in large pots, scrub the pots clean until they shine. Remember, a little cleaning goes a long way and it has the potential to make a great first impression.

Mow and Water the Lawn

This should be one of the first item on your to-do list. Grass that is too long looks messy and unkept, and grass that is brown is not appealing to the eye. Do your best to water and mow your lawn regularly to get the best results. As long as there is a “For Sale” sign in your front lawn, there should be clean, trimmed grass.

Trim Trees and Bushes

Your home might have great landscaping already, it just needs to be cleaned up a bit. Keep the bushes and trees trimmed so they appear clean and well-kept, and don’t take away from the view of your house. You want the landscaping to complement, not be the focal point.

Plant Instant Color

Purchase flowers that you can plant in your front yard or that you can put in pots on the porch or sidewalk. Shoot for a splash of several colors that will complement your home. Adding small amounts of color will give your home the extra pop of curb appeal that it needs.

Touch Up the Mulch

This one small touch can turn your yard from dull to vibrant in just a matter of hours. The dark color of a fresh layer of mulch gives a great contrast against the bright flowers and green grass. It helps the pop of color from the flowers come to life.

Curb appeal can make or break a home. Completing easy landscaping projects can help you give the perfect first impression to a buyer by keeping the outside of your home just as beautiful as the inside.

For more tips on landscaping for your home, visit here.

Tips For Home Improvement Safety

Home improvement projects often call for risky practices. We always preach safety first, but we don’t always practice what we preach. Home Tips recently wrote an article passing along some tips for those of you tackling home improvement projects this Spring.

Accidents can happen. You need to be especially careful when you are working at heights; with power tools or sharp blades; with heavy, awkward, or toxic materials; or with electricity and natural gas. It isn’t worth it to do your own home improvements if you run a high risk of injuring yourself.

1. Tackle only those tasks that you feel safe handling.

2. Keep a tidy work area. Keeping a tidy work area helps you to avoid creating your own hazards. Don’t allow power cords to tangle. Pick up and properly store power tools, sharp tools. or dangerous materials that might cause injury. Pull all nails from old lumber.

3. Keep tools and supplies away from the reach of small children.

4. Dress for safety. Don’t work in flip-flops and shorts. Sturdy clothing, work boots, and gloves will protect you. Wear safety glasses when you use power tools, hammers, or other striking or cutting tools. If you are going to be working beneath construction, get a hard hat.

5. When using a ladder, position it on a flat, firm surface. As you climb or reach, keep your weight centered. Do not lean on one side, keep your hips between the rails and never stand on the top two rungs. When using the extension ladder to reach the roof, extend at least two rungs about the eaves this way you can hold on to the ladder as you step onto the roof.

6. Don’t go up on the roof in bad weather.

7. Equip your garage or workshop and your home with fire extinguishers. Every home should have two working fire extinguishers. Be sure they are large enough to handle home fires; they need to be rated a minimum size of “2A10BC” on the label. Periodically check them to make sure they are fully charged.

8. Protect yourself against exposure to hazardous chemicals and materials. Many varnishes, solvents, preservatives, adhesives, and other products used to accomplish projects contain hazardous ingredients. Pay attention to all label warnings, including instructions about proper ventilation.

9. Dust and fibers can be hazardous to breathe. When sanding wood, wear a dust mask. Never sand, scrape, or dislodge surfaces that you suspect contain asbestos; doing so can put highly hazardous fibers into the air.

10. Always keep a good first-aid kit on hand.

 

For more information and safety tips read the original article here.