Paint brings a dreary porch floor to life in New England — watch the process unfold and get tips and ideas for your own floors

DIY: How to Paint Stripes on Your Floor.

I gave myself the daunting task of making over my three-season porch. I live in New England, so this porch is used only for about five months of the year at best, but I can see it from the kitchen sink, and it connects the kitchen with the backyard, so I wanted it to be a calm, welcoming space for my family. During the colder months, I just wanted it to be pretty to look at.

The biggest change would come through the power of paint. Benjamin Moore’s Decorators White on the walls and Harbor Fog on the ceiling provided the bright, crisp look I was going for. But the walls and ceilings were just the finishing touches. The entire design of this room began with one idea: painting gray and white stripes on the floor.

Picture Framing

Picture Framing: An effect of non-uniform color that can appear when a wall is painted with a roller, but is brushed at the corners. The brushed areas generally appear darker, resembling the “frame” of a “picture”. Also, sprayed areas may be darker than neighboring sections that are brushed or rolled. Picture framing can also refer to sheen effects.

Possible Cause:

Usually a hiding (coverage) effect. Brushing will generally result in lower spread rates than rolling, producing a thicker film and more hiding.
Adding colorant to a non-tintable paint or using the wrong type or level of colorant.


Make sure that spread rates with brushes and rollers are similar. Don’t cut in the entire room before roller coating. Work in smaller sections of the room to maintain a “wet edge”. With tinted paints, be sure the correct colorant-base combinations are used. Factory colors, as well as in-store tints, should be thoroughly shaken at time of sale.

Physical Contact with Electricity

Problem: Person suffers electrical shock.

Background: Electrical shock can paralyze chest muscles, making it impossible to breathe. Call immediately for medical help. If a victim is no longer in contact with the source of the electricity, and is not breathing, immediately give mouth- to-mouth resuscitation if possible. When the victim begins to breathe, treat for traumatic shock. Keep warm with clothing or blanket, and position feet higher than head to help blood reach the brain.

What to do: If you find someone in contact with live electricity indoors, don’t touch the person since the electricity could travel through them to you as well. Shut off the power by pulling the plug, turning the switch, or turning off the power at the circuit breaker. If you can’t turn off the power, you can try to free the victim using a dry rope or stick that won’t conduct electricity to you (use extreme caution and don’t use anything wet or made from metal to move the victim). Call for emergency medical assistance. If you find someone in contact with a live wire outdoors, call the fire or police department for emergency medical assistance. Then also call your electric utility company to tell them the exact location of the victim so they can immediately shut off the power.

Special advice: Power lines downed by storms or accidents are very dangerous; the body can act as a lightning rod and carry the current to the ground. Be alert for power lines, especially when working with scaffolds, ladders and tools, when in stalling antennas, when trimming trees or flying kites. Call the utility company to help locate underground conduits before digging in your yard. Don’t use electric mowers or power tools on a wet surface, and keep appliances away from water, including tubs and showers.

Helpful hint: Call for help if you must work near utility poles or power lines. Tennis shoes or work gloves will not protect you from electrical shock. Power company employees use special precautions, such as rubber protectors, insulating rubber safety gloves and hard hats, plus years of training, to keep them selves safe.

Phone Doesn’t Work

Problem: Phone doesn’t operate, emits excessive noise or rapid busy signal.

Background: Problems can stem from your phone set, the wiring in side your home, or in outside lines and switching equipment. A rapid busy signal means all phone circuits are busy; try your call again in a few minutes. Noise on phone may be caused by weather, aerial satellites, poor grounding, or other temporary conditions. (If the noise persists, the tips below may help you identify the problem.) Interference may also come from citizens band (CB) radios and AM/FM broadcast stations. In stalling a modular filter, available through stores that sell phone equipment, may help. Cordless phones (see Cordless Phone Defective) use radio frequencies and may receive interference from radio transmitters. If so, contact the cordless phone supplier or manufacturer for help.

What to do: First make sure all phones are hung up. If you have only one phone, take it to another home and plug it in. If it doesn’t work there, the problem is likely in the phone. If you have two or more phones, unplug them all. Then try each one—one at a time—in each phone jack. If a phone doesn’t work anywhere, the problem is most likely in that phone. If none work in one jack, the problem is with the jack. You might also borrow a friend’s phone and try it in each of your jacks. If it doesn’t work in one jack, that jack is the problem. If it doesn’t work in any jack, the problem may be in the line.
(Note: If you have installed new phone wire or jacks, you can test the installation by plugging a phone into the jack and listening for a dial tone. You should be able to interrupt the dial tone by dialing any single number other than 0. If the dial tone is not interrupted, reverse the wires at the jack. If you still don’t hear a dial tone, recheck the connections and equipment.)

Special advice: If there is no dial tone, make sure the line cord is firmly plugged into the jack and phone, and that the handset cord is firmly plugged in at both ends. If the phone won’t ring, check to see that the ringer switch is set to “on.” If so, note the ringer equivalence number (REN) on the bottom and ask your phone company if it requires more ringing power than is normal. If there is static, check for a loose handset cord or, if possible, try an other cord. (Some weather conditions, such as very low humidity, can cause static build-up.) If you get a dial tone, but can’t dial out, make sure the tone/pulse switch is set to “pulse” if you have rotary-only ser vice.

Helpful hint: If you have phone accessories—such as answering machines, speaker phones, or cordless phones—make sure they are working. If phones work without the added equipment, the problem may be with the accessories. If you have a phone connected to an answering machine and have a dial tone but can’t dial out, try plugging only the phone into the jack. If it works, you may have a compatibility problem and may need a 2-for-1 adaptor, available where phone equipment is sold.

Patching Wallpaper and Removing Bubbles

Most bubbles you see in wallpaper are just air pockets. But sometimes, a bit of debris causes the pocket. In order to tell the difference, press on the area and see if you feel anything. If you do, cut a small X on the wallpaper with a utility knife, remove the debris, apply a little adhesive to the back of the wallpaper, and press it back against the wall. Smooth out any ripples.

If the bubble is an air pocket, simply slice the wallpaper carefully. If the wallpaper has a pattern, try to cut along the pattern to conceal your work. Apply adhesive to the back of the wallpaper and gently push it back onto wall. Remove any excess adhesive and use your hands to smooth out the paper.

How to patch wallpaper:

1. Find a remnant of wallpaper that matches the piece that needs to be replaced. Cut a section that is slightly larger than the damaged area. Apply it to the wall over the damaged area with removable tape. Make sure the pattern lines up.

2. Take your utility knife and cut through both the wall paper patch and the wallpaper that is on the wall. This will ensure that you have a replacement piece the exact same size as your opening.

3. Remove your patch and wet the damaged area. Gently peel the damaged piece away, being careful not to dam age the surrounding areas. Scrape away any excess glue or wallpaper in the area. You may need to use a hot, wet washcloth to ease the glue off the wall. Make sure the wall is clean and dry before you continue.

4. Apply adhesive to the back of the patch and carefully place it in the clean, dry area. Make sure the pattern matches up.

5. Smooth out the patch with your hand or a ruler, making sure there are no bubbles.

6. Wipe away any adhesive that might have oozed out with a damp washcloth. Let dry.

How to Patching Peeling Paint

When old paint chips, flakes, or peels, it leaves behind a shallow depression. You’ll need to repair these spots before painting – new coats of paint won’t hide them. Use a fast-drying patching compound to fill the hole.

1. Scrape away any loose paint with a putty knife or paint scraper. Apply the spackling compound to the edges of the chipped paint with a putty knife or flexible wallboard knife.




2. Sand the patched areas with 150-grit production sandpaper. The patched places should feel smooth to the touch and not have any edges. If the walls have a textured surface you’ll need to texture the patched areas to match.

This perfectly neutral and highly versatile color can create subtle distinctions among exterior architectural elements or stand on its own

When to Paint Your Home Gray.

Gray paint — whether a warm gray or a cool one — is an ideal choice for a home of just about any style, age and location. Also, with this color’s wide range of hues, two or more shades can be combined to create subtle distinctions between architectural elements, eliminating jarring contrasts to create a quieter exterior.

And gray can be applied in many forms, from a solid paint to a semitransparent stain. As a paint, the color provides a uniform and continuous color, ideally suited to a material like stucco. As a semitransparent stain, gray allow the complexity and beauty of wood to come through.

So if you’re considering a gray exterior, go beyond monolithic and battleship gray to really explore this neutral color’s richness and variety.

A designer keeps the cedar-paneled walls and concrete floors but updates the kitchen and decor in a 1970s Texas home

Midcentury Living Room and Kitchen Get a Stylish, Comfy Update.

Living Room and Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here: Three women (a couple and a sister)
Location: Keller, Texas (in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex)
Size: 2,100 square feet (195 square meters) for the whole house
Designer: Ann Bridgman of Just the Thing Decorating, Staging, and Windows
Year built: 1974

This midcentury home in Texas had belonged to a family for 20 years. It had never really served as a primary residence and, as a result, hadn’t received the regular care and upkeep a full-time home might have. “The house had not been updated in many years, and the kitchen needed to be completely remodeled,” interior designer Ann Bridgman says.

After deciding to move in permanently, the homeowners hired Bridgman to refresh and renovate their home. They focused on the communal living areas, gutting the kitchen and redecorating the living and dining areas to better accommodate a household of three. “The taste of the homeowners leaned toward clean lines and midcentury styles, so we focused on finding furniture to reflect that aesthetic,” Bridgman says.

How to Paint Door Frames

Your doorway can provide a dramatic entrance and de corative frame for a room, but it may also show signs of wear and tear. Providing a fresh coat of paint can enhance the look of the entire room.

We recommend using a sheen that is higher in gloss than what is on your walls as this will showcase your trim and doors by separating them from the rest of your walls. However this is a personal choice. To provide a professional look, use a good quality paint brush rather than a roller.
For best results, ALWAYS READ THE PAINT CAN LABEL. Professionals read the paint can labels to get the paint manufacturers’ most up-to-date information and instructions on the use of each specific paint. Every paint is different, and the labels provide important information, such as the average coverage area per gallon, drying times, number of coats needed, and surface preparation requirements. The labels also give specific safety information that should be carefully adhered to.
1. Start by painting your doorframe from top to bottom.

2. Then, with the door ajar, if you haven’t removed it, start painting the trim by carefully cutting in near the inside wall.

3. Then, continue painting around the rest of the trim.

4. Wait until the paint dries completely before adding a second coat to the door frame and trim.

How to Paint Baseboards and Molding

Here are some simple steps that will help make painting your baseboards easier.

Painting Tips & Tools

• Use a 2 to 2 ½ inch angle sash brush (depending on the size and type of trim).
For latex paint, use a good quality nylon or poly/nylon brush.

For alkyd paint, use a natural bristle brush.
• Start painting in the corner, then work your way around the room.
• Carefully paint in a straight line, making sure that your paint strokes follow the length of the baseboard rather than going up and down.
• Don’t remove the painters tape until the paint is dry to the touch.
• We recommend using a sheen that is higher in gloss than what is on the walls, as this will showcase the molding, separating the walls from the trim. However, this is a personal choice.
For best results, ALWAYS READ THE PAINT CAN LABEL. Professionals read the paint can labels to get the paint manufacturers’ most up-to-date information and instructions on the use of each specific paint. Every paint is different, and the labels provide important information, such as the average coverage area per gallon, drying times, number of coats needed, and surface preparation requirements. The labels also give specific safety information that should be carefully adhered to.

1. Protect the floor with a drop cloth.

2. Wipe the baseboard with a damp cloth to remove dust and dirt.

3. Protect the wall just above the baseboard with wide painter’s tape.

4. Also place painter’s tape around the doorway and top edge of the door.