Foam brushes are well suited to intricate work such as painting molding or window casings. These brushes are normally good only for one use, as they're hard to clean and easy to tear.
Manmade bristle brushes are used for acrylics and for water-based and latex paints. Before purchasing a manmade bristle brush, make sure it has a thick head of evenly distributed bristles. Cheaper brushes may have gaps in the middle of the head.
Polyester synthetic brushes are available with straight bristles or split-ended bristles. Split ends give good coverage so fewer strokes are needed to paint a surface. These brushes are used with latex paints.
Natural-bristle brushes are made with animal hair and used mainly with oil-based paints. Latex and water-based paints will dry out the bristles.
When used with latex paint, foam rollers give a finish similar to that produced by a paint sprayer. Foam rollers also come in the shape of a wheel, permitting the user to get into corners more easily.
Hiring a painting contractor should involve more than just making a few phone calls and picking out colors. After all, these painters will spend several days or weeks remodeling your house and working around all your prized possessions.
There are few licensing requirements or governing boards, and the cost of entering the profession is minimal. The unfortunate result of this is that a high percentage of those who call themselves painting professional are unqualified opportunists who would like nothing more than to repaint your home every three to four years.
So when searching for a painting contractor to hire, make sure the candidates you select are fully qualified to handle your house painting project. Make sure the crew that will be working on your home is comprised of experienced, professional and courteous painters that will ensure your complete satisfaction with your interior or exterior painting project.
Once you’ve narrowed down potential painting companies, you should check out how they conduct their business. Visiting a job site allows you to see the contractor work on current projects. During a visit, it is important to note the safety, cleanliness, neatness, and conduct of the worker(s). This is a telling sign as to how your painting project might be handled. If you like what you see and have learned after conducting research, you should make an office visit or place a telephone call to the potential house painters.
Choosing colors for the inside of your home or business can be a complicated process. The amount of choices is overwhelming and it can be difficult to tell what goes well together. The following is a list of ideas that can help you wade through the endless options.
• Choose a color that works with your furniture. It's much easier to change your walls than buy a new living room set, so use what you already own to guide your choices.
• Consider a room's natural light when choosing whether to go dark or pale. Generally, rooms with lot of natural light can handle dark colors better than a poorly lit room. Pale shades will usually reflect natural light.
• Choosing the right color is all about balance. If you have colorful furnishings or accent pieces in your home, try balancing them with more neutral walls. If your all-neutral furniture feels bland, use a bold color to give the room some kick.
• If you see a color you like in a photograph, try to match it to a color chip. Although colors aren't reliable online, a photograph of a whole room gives you a better idea of a color than a swatch on your screen. For rooms that list color sources from AT, see NY's
• Collect chips in a range of colors and look at them against any upholstery, rugs, and wood tones in the room.
• Pair wall colors with a complimentary trim, or paint trim and baseboards the same color as the walls for a modern look. When choosing trim, remember that colors change in relation to one another. Collect chips and samples for both your main and accent colors.
• In our experience, paint almost always looks darker on the wall than it does on the chip. If you're working off a chip, choose the color you want, then consider going a shade lighter.
• Choose the type of finish you want for your room. Flat finishes hide imperfections, while glossy finishes reflect light. Flat finishes are harder to keep clean (so they're not ideal for a kitchen or bathroom), but glossy finishes can look cheap if the walls aren't in top form.
• Even if you have to pay a little, invest in a small sample pot and paint a few swatches in your room, near the windows and in dark corners.
• Although painting can be stressful, it's one of the least expensive changes you can make in a room, so don't get too upset if you make a mistake. You can always change it later.
Painting a ceiling is not as difficult as it may appear. Here are some tips to help you finish the job just like the pros.
Painting is perhaps the easiest of DIY home upgrades, but tackling the ceiling can be a daunting endeavor, particularly since it requires a bit of elevation and contortion. Here are some pointers on prep and techniques that will help you accomplish the job easily and successfully, just like a pro.
Tools and supplies required:
• Drop cloth
• Painter’s tape
• Roller and extension pole
• Roller tray
• Damp sponge or cloth
Before you begin, remove as much of the furniture from the room as possible; doing this will make it easier for you to maneuver through the space where you're working. Use drop cloths to cover any remaining furniture and to protect the floors from paint splatters and mishaps.
If you are just painting the ceiling and not the walls, use quick-release painter's tape where the walls meet the ceiling. Tape should also be applied around any moldings that decorate the ceiling's edges. And if you are painting the entire room, the ceiling is where you should start.
Apply a coat of primer. It may seem like an added step, but the primer will provide a stain barrier and in most cases will make it possible to use only one coat of paint to finish.
Use a stepladder to paint a 2-3" cut-line along the edge of the ceiling. Start in a corner and with a 2” trim brush, paint about three feet along one wall, then the adjoining wall. While the cut-line is still wet, begin painting the ceiling with the roller. Painting the ceiling while the cut-line is still wet will help reduce visible lines. The same will be true for paint applied from section to section with the roller.
To use a roller, fill the deep portion of a roller tray with paint and roll the apparatus over the paint until the nap is covered. The key is not to submerge the roller, but rather to glide it over the paint, gently working it back and forth in the shallow part of the tray until the nap is completely covered and paint drips are minimal.
Attach the extension pole to the roller. To paint the ceiling, use the paint-filled roller to create a zigzag pattern measuring 3-4" square. Next, go over the same area using straight, controlled strokes to even out the paint. Avoid leaving paint lines from the edge of the roller. Since you need to work while the paint is still wet, tackle smaller sections and be sure to feather the edges to reduce distinct, visible lines between sections.
Depending on paint and coverage you may need to repeat the process—from cut-lines to painting—once the coat has dried thoroughly. Be sure to clean your paintbrushes, roller and paint tray with warm soap and water.
Many homeowners neglect some of the simplest upgrades that would make their homes significantly more appealing. It’s not necessary to spend thousands of dollars on upgrades, but in a down market, a homeowner needs to do everything he or she can to make a home more enticing to buyers. So, how can you do it? Here are some simple DIY upgrades to increase your home’s value.
Install a Storm Door
With many new storm doors available in a wide variety of colors and styles, you’re likely to find the perfect storm door for your home without doing much research. And if you choose an energy-efficient door, you may qualify for a tax credit in 2014.
Storm doors are designed to further secure your exterior doors and are often made of steel or iron. These heavy-duty storm doors last years longer than the less expensive plastic and wood options.
Installing a storm door outside your main entryway will add curb appeal to your home and will reassure the potential buyer that the home you are selling is a safe one.
Minor Bathroom Upgrades
Have you ever walked into an open house, only to find the bathroom sinks (and more specifically, the faucets) leaking, rusted over, or marred with water spots? While all of these will happen over time, you shouldn’t prepare to show off your house before investing a little bit of time and money in replacing the minor things.
Bathrooms can go from bland to being rich with character simply by replacing the faucets and towel bars. If you recently painted your interior walls, the addition of new towel bars and faucets will only make the bathrooms in your house look even newer.
If you don’t have the time or money to commit to doing a complete bathroom overhaul, you can invest significantly less and still leave the potential buyer thinking you spent thousands on your bathroom renovations. Installing these items is a relative breeze, and you’ll be stunned by how much these minor upgrades improve what may already appear to be a pristine bathroom.
Install a Security System
If you are selling your home, consider equipping it with a home security system. It is prudent to protect your home, possessions and family, and anyone looking to purchase a home will feel the same way.
The key to installing security measures at your home is to have a well-rounded package of different home security devices. Home alarm systems are relatively inexpensive (most providers offer a small installation and first month combination fee) and are a great way to provide those viewing your home with an added security measure.
Another upgrade to consider is the installation of security cameras. Much less expensive than many expect them to be, security cameras offer a great element of protection for a homebuyer. Even if you were to purchase cameras solely for the exterior doors of your home, you would provide your potential buyer with a sense of security. Many systems allow you to stream the camera’s feed to your personal desktop or laptop computer, eliminating the need for an additional monitor. You can even go as far as purchasing automatic security lights, which will provide light for your security camera feed and deter any would-be burglars from attempting to enter your residence.
Lastly, if you have yet to do so, purchase a new set of locks for all of the doors of your house that lead outside (even the door leading to your garage). Installing new door locks is an easy way to deter intruders from entering your home. With many door locks offering anti-drill steel chips and multiple layers of levers, you will be able to secure your home with a great set of new locks with only a minor level of inconvenience
Your kitchen colors should reflect a warm, cozy environment to facilitate family gatherings and parties. Both mixing and matching colors can produce a cohesive overall effect that reduces any chaos or makes the room look cluttered. Homeowners can both modernize and completely change the look of their kitchen with some new paint on the walls, according to Remodeling Center.com. Because you want your paint job to be a success, it is optimal to spend adequate time picking good colors to paint the kitchen.
The stove doesn't have to be the only thing in the kitchen that gives off heat. Warm tones can produce a cozy ambiance when used as wall paint. In addition, hues such as reds, apricots and yellows also act as appetite stimulants, according to Leatrice Eiseman. These colors can be paired with a variety of colors that reflect the architecture of the home. For example, yellow was a popular color of choice in the Victorian era. You can mix up the color palette with a brown to marry the past with the present and set of any wood paneling or cabinetry. Apricot is also traditionally used in Southwestern architecture as an exterior color. You can match the outside color with the color in your kitchen, which makes the room look especially cohesive if it is attached to an exterior patio area.
Many kitchen appliances are made in dark colors. For instance, coffee makers, cast iron pans and dishwashers are often black or a gray. You can add a splash of color behind an otherwise dull landscape by using a bright color. If you have cabinetry or tiling in the room, it is best to pick a color that will complement. The entire room doesn't have to be one bright color. In fact, oftentimes a room of one color can appear flat. You can pick one wall to paint with a bright color like turquoise, henna or orange. The rest of the walls can be painted a lighter shade of the vivid hue. Also, you can add emphasis to the cabinetry by painting them a bright color and leaving the background a subtle hue. It will give your cabinets an eye-catching pop and add energy to the kitchen.
Paint companies are answering the pleas from homeowners for newer colors in their inventory of paints. Hues such as daiquiri green, cantaloupe pink, chocolate, misty yellow and tender greens are showing up in collections of paints. Many of the newer paints have been inspired by the growing "foodie community" and ethnic colors. In fact, there are plenty of colors that people can find available that remind them of where they grew up in a foreign country. If new hues aren't your cup of tea, use unusual color combinations. Install hot-pink tiling and use a silver for the walls. You can faux finish your walls to incorporate depth, dimension and color to the kitchen. Faux finishing is the result of painting an under-layer color and adding color through a variety of applications, such as using sponges. You can also use a different finish like a high sheen that can transform the look of the room. It's easier to wipe off fingerprints from high sheen finishes as opposed to eggshell finishes, and high sheen also reflects abundant light.
Paint contractors usually price projects on a per square foot basis, although they may quote you a flat rate. Square foot pricing allocates a portion of labor and material cost to every square foot of area on a job. Converting a paint quote to price per square foot is helpful to consumers comparing different quotes and helpful to contractors comparing the cost of different jobs. It requires only basic math skills and tools.
Multiply the length of every room in the house by its width to determine its square footage. Multiply the width by the height of each exterior wall to find exterior square footage. Add the totals to find square footage for the entire house. For example, assume the house is 2,000 square feet.
Determine the cost of painting the house. Your painter will give you this number based on his material and labor cost. For example, assume a price of $1,200.
Divide the cost by the square footage to find cost per square foot. For example, $1,200 divided by 2,000 square feet equals $0.60 per square foot.
Literally translated, "feng shui" means wind and water. Wind and water are the first two of five elements considered sacred in many Chinese spiritual traditions. Practitioners of feng shui seek to improve their lives by balancing these five elements in their environment and by balancing the yin and yang--or receptive and assertive energy--represented by the elements. Some home sellers use the principles of feng shui as a marketing tool to create a more pleasant atmosphere in the home. Color choice plays a large part in the philosophy of feng shui. Whether decorating for yourself or for potential buyers, calming yin colors are considered most appropriate for a bedroom.
In the feng shui philosophy, pink symbolizes love. A pink bedroom may reignite feelings of love and passion in a relationship. Use only light shades of pink in a bedroom and avoid shades with a red undertone, which change the energy from yin to yang. Do not use reddish-pink colors in the bedroom if you are prone to insomnia or mental restlessness at night, because red is a stimulating color.
White is the most neutral yin color and may be helpful when decorating a bedroom for resale. White represents a calm confidence. It is often used with more opulent embellishments of silver or gold to create a serene and poised atmosphere.
Light shades of blue appeal to the person who enjoys using her bedroom as a spiritual retreat. Blue is a yin color that promotes meditation, healing and relaxation. Feng shui also associates blue with a sense of exploration and adventure, because the sky and the sea are blue. However, couples who have difficulty with intimate communication or people who are prone to depression should not use blue in the bedroom.
Purple is the yin color most closely related with spiritual awareness. Light, blue-based shades of purple in a bedroom may promote mental and physical healing and spiritual growth. Avoid red-based shades of purple in order to minimize yang energy.
More often than not, the kitchen is more than a place to prep and enjoy meals. It also doubles as a home office, homework station, and family gathering spot. And everyone knows it’s the prime hangout during social events. With all this traffic, it’s no wonder it’s one of the first places in the home where wear and tear really begins to show.
How do you breathe new life into your kitchen? Despite what most people expect, making kitchen improvements doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars, or involve granite counter tops. Here are five ways to upgrade a tired kitchen without blowing your budget:
1. Update the cabinets. Cabinets are one of the most prominent features in a kitchen and if you want the biggest change, updating your cabinetry is the way to go. There are several ways to do this on a budget:
- Paint the cabinets. Painted cabinets are by far the most affordable and cheapest way to update. Make sure to sand, prime, and remove hardware as well as tape off any areas you don’t want painted before you begin.
- Reface the cabinets. Refacing involves replacing the cabinet and drawer fronts with a wood veneer or plywood. Or, you can even replace the doors with glass for a modern look. You can also install crown molding to the top of cabinets for added punch. Most home-improvement stores have several refacing options ranging in price and can give you tips to help you do it yourself.
- Replace the hardware. Think of hardware as the jewelry for the cabinets — the style, shape and color of cabinet pulls and knobs can make your kitchen appear dated or modern. First, decide on a cohesive style for your kitchen (modern, traditional, country) and find knobs to match. Whether you paint or reface your cabinets, replacing the hardware is one of the easiest ways to update a kitchen. Check out the hardware section of any home improvement store for a variety of prices and options.
2. Paint the walls. You want your kitchen to look fresh and clean. Short of spending hours scrubbing every food splatter off the walls, nothing says clean like new paint. Depending on the size of your kitchen, you can tackle this project in an afternoon or weekend.
3. Lighting. Lighting can say a lot about your kitchen. There are many different lighting options available, and again it depends on the aesthetic or overall style of the room. Do you have stainless steel appliances and sleek drawer pulls? Try modern track lighting or recessed can lights. If you have more of a country feel to your kitchen, try a small decorative lamp on a counter to make the room feel more inviting. Or, brighten your work space by placing halogen or florescent lights under the cabinets. More and more modern kitchens are including this amenity.
4. New faucet. The faucet is often the most-used item in the kitchen and an old faucet can immediately date the overall look. While you can purchase a new spout for over a grand, there are more affordable and aesthetic options ranging in the $40 to $100 price bracket. With some help from your home improvement store, replacing a faucet can be something that you do yourself.
5. Back splash: The kitchen’s back splash might not be the first thing people notice, but adding tile or other detail to this area is an easy way to upgrade. You don’t have to skilled tile mason to tackle this project; most home improvement stores now have adhesive strips of tile that can be cut to fit any area.