Archive for the ‘Painting’ Category

Large Windows: Picture and Bay Styles

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

4250861951_e8ae42cf71_mOne of the reasons replacement windows are such a popular home improvement item is that they have an impact on both the exterior and interior of a house. They really set the atmosphere in each room. For rooms that could feature a lovely view, replacing small windows with single larger window can add quite a bit of value and appeal to a home.

Picture

A large picture window is one option for enhancing a room with a view. The largest possible picture window you can buy for your home may depend on the type of frame you want. Some manufacturers of residential windows only offer sizes up to 5’x8’ or 6’x7’ in a single pane. Additional panes can be added in geometric shapes at the top or sides of the large pane to increase the overall size of the window. Of course, a local commercial glass company can usually custom make any dimension of double paned picture window glass you’d like.

Bay/Bow

Unlike picture windows, bay or bow windows are generally made in 3 separate pieces and come in standard sizes as large as 10.5’x6.5’. They can create a much more open feel for the interior of a room because they “bow” out from the wall. Plants or other decorative items that might otherwise take up space in the room can be placed in the sunshine and out of the way on the interior window ledge. So, a deep bay window creates the effect of adding more square footage to the home without the expense of building a new room.

Making a Choice

What style will match the existing architectural feel of your home? Bay windows with inset seats are a typical choice for Victorian styles. In contrast, a large picture window or a series of several picture windows may be more appropriate for the front façade of a more modern home. However, bay windows can still be installed for kitchen, dining, or living room spaces that overlook a back yard.

Window Replacement Materials

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Homeowners frequently select vinyl window replacements because they do not require painting and they are easy to maintain. The better quality the window is made out of the higher the price for the windows. Some vinyl replacement windows are actually wood windows with vinyl cladding (the exterior of the window is coated in vinyl). Homeowners like these ones because you get the natural wood look on the inside, and the low maintenance features on the outside.

Wood replacement windows are also still very popular. They are much more affordable and the homeowners like the natural wood look. The downside of wood windows is do require you to maintain them and paint them. Also, over time the window sill splits.

Metal/Steel window replacements are also another good alternative. The only downside of these windows is that they can be dented resulting in permanent damage.

Painting Your Home

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Paint is one of the cheapest and quickest fixes that you can do to your home. Your house will look better and if you are trying to sell, you will get back more money than you invested in the paint. There are many different types of paint to choose from. Oil, Latex, Sheen (Gloss), Color or Decorative Paint.

Oil vs. Latex: Latex is what most people use because it is water-based, durable, and easy to clean up. Oil (also known as alkyd) is still available in most parts of the country. It is a little harder to work with and it isn’t easy to clean up or dispose of, but it still have uses.

Sheen (Gloss): The glossier the paint, the easier it is to clean. The more flat or less glossy, the more it hides mistakes. You should use flatter sheens on most of the walls. Use glossier sheens on trim and in kitchens, and baths, all of which get a lot of splatters, fingerprints, and other abuse.

Color: Believe it or not, white is not the only color and white on white is not the only color scheme. Though it may seem “safe”, you can do so much more. Read literature and do some research and check which scheme would work best for you. When you are ready, buy a quart and put it in the section of the wall you want to paint, then paint the trim also and live in it for a few days and see if you still like it. If it’s a disaster, redo it. If you like, finish the house.

Decorative Paint: Sponging, dragging, stippling, texturing add a lot to a room and are easy to master. Before you start on your walls, get a piece of drywall and try different techniques and color schemes.

Wallpapering Ceilings

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

You should always use two people when wallpapering the ceiling. Make sure you use heavy duty adhesive and give yourself plenty of time to complete the job. If you are using the same paper on the walls, paper the ceiling first and make sure to match the seams from ceiling to walls.

Step1: PRIME AND PATCH THE CEILING

Lay out the paper on the ceiling so that the strips will overlap the wall by about ½ inch. When you lay out the strip, hold a roll of paper against the ceiling at one side of the room. Now, mark on the ceiling ½ inch from the end of the roll. Go the the other side and make a similar mark.

Step2: SNAP A CHALK LINE CONNECTING THE TWO MARKS.

You will want to use blue chalk because red chalk will bleed through the paper. Cut a strip of paper to the exact length and then apply wallpaper paste activator.

Step3: WORKING IN SMALL SECTIONS, POSITION THE STRIP AGAINST THE GUIDELINE

Make sure you overlap the side wall by ½ inch and the end walls by 2 inches. Take a smooth brush and flatten the strip as you work. If you are going to cover the walls with the same paper, trim the ceiling wallpaper so it overlaps the wall by ½ inch. If you are not covering the walls then trim the excess by holding a broad knife against the corner and cutting with a razor knife.

Step4: CUT OUT A SMALL WEDGE OF WALLPAPER IN THE CORNER SO THAT THE STRIP WILL LIE SMOOTH.

Press the wallpaper into the corner with a broad knife.

Wallpapering Walls

Monday, December 28th, 2009

Preparing the walls is as important as hanging the paper. If the surface is greasy or dirty, the paper won’t stick. Also, if there are irregularities in the wall, they may be visible on the paper’s surface. So be prepared: Wash, patch, fix, prime, seal, and size before you paper. The good thing is primers, sealers, and sizing are combined into a single product. Paint and plaster companies market many wall repair kits.

Step1: PATCH AND PRIME THE WALLS BEFORE YOU START

Primer can be white, clear, or tinted slightly to match the paper. When you have finished priming, look at the paper you selected. The pattern type determines how the strips are cut and glued on the walls. On straight-match and random-match papers, patterns along the left and right edges of the paper are the same, and the installation is straight forward.  On drop-match papers, the elements are staggered along both edges.  Aligning the pattern results in an uneven top edge, which get’s trimmed.  This will take more time and you will waste more paper but results in a  more interesting and fun patern. Cutting alternating strips from two rolls  of wallpaper will cut down on some of the wallpaper waste.

Step2: BEGIN IN THE LEAST-CONSPICUOUS INSIDE CORNER OF THE ROOM

You should position the first strip so that most of the paper is on the first wall to be pampered, with about 1/2 to 2 inches of the strip wrapping around the corner onto the adjoining wall. This helps hide the cracks they may develop in the corners. When you measure the strip, you will need to lay out the strip and measure it from the corner by the width of the paper minus the wrap. Draw a plumb line at this point, guided by a level.

Step3: CUT THE FIRST STRIP OF PAPER

You will need to cut it about 4 inches longer than needed so that it can temporarily overlap the ceiling baseboard. Then roll out the paper on a long work surface and cut the strip to length with scissors.

Step4: APPLY ACTIVATOR OR PASTE

It’s recommended to use a paste activator instead of soaking prepasted paper: It’s a stronger bond and it takes longer to dry so you can continue to move the paper around on the wall. Brush or roll on the activator. Make sure you follow the directions for the activator as well. Also, make sure you get paste ACTIVATOR not paste!

Step5: GENTLY FOLD THE ENDS TOWARD THE MIDDLE,

glued sides together with the patterned side out. The term used for this is “booking the strip”. Try not to crease the paper. Wait at least 1 minute so the paste has a chance to activate before hanging it.

Step6: HANG THE FIRST STRIP ALONG THE PLUMB LINE WITH A GENTLE BUT FIRM HAND

Start by positioning the middle of the strip, and work your way up to the top, sliding the paper to align it. Align the bottom and work it gently against the wall. Now, start from the top and work your way down the wall and smooth the paper onto the wall with a brush or a flexable plastic smoother.

Step7: HANG THE SECOND STRIP AND THEN TRIM THE FIRST

Allow the glue to dry on the first strip while you hang the second one. Then when you are done hanging it, you can go back and trim the first strip.

Step8: BUTT SUBSEQUENT STRIPS AGAINST EACH OTHER

When you have finished hanging a few strips, go over the seams between them with a seam roller to fix the edges in place. Be careful not to force too much paste out from under the strips or your seams will loosen. Use clean warm water and a sponge to remove excess paste from the wall. Do not use a roller on foils, flocked, or embossed papers because it may damage it. Instead, press along the seams with a smoothing brush.

Step9: PAPER OVER ELECTRIC SWITCHES AND OUTLETS

Cut away excess paper. Before you cut around an electrical box, make sure you turn the power off to the room. Make four diagonal slices, starting at the center of the box and working toward corners. Trim and make a rectangular opening, leave enough paper for the cover plate to conceal the edges.