How to Prepare A Room for Painting

Before you start painting, here’s how to prepare the room:

1. Lighter furnishings and furniture should be removed from the room.

2. Move the heavy furniture to the center of the room, and cover it with a plastic sheet or canvas drop cloth. Use masking tape or painter’s tape to secure the drop cloth or plastic sheet.

3. You may wish to remove the doors to gain better access for painting the trim, or you may want to leave the door in place, this way you can gain full access all the way around.

4. Remove photographs and artwork, and the hardware used to hang them.

5. Remove window coverings, drapes, blinds, curtains, or other window coverings.

6. If you have a fireplace, cover it with clear plastic sheeting or a drop cloth and then secure it with painter’s tape.

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.

7. Remove all electrical outlet covers and switch plates, placing all the fittings in a designated container.

8. Cover exposed electrical outlets and switches with painter’s tape.

9. Light fixtures should be removed or loosened enough to paint behind them, or masked with painter’s tape.

10. Cover the entire floor with drop cloths or dust sheets, using a wide painter’s tape to adhere it to the floor. Make sure that half the tape is affixed to the drop cloth and the other half to the floor, tight against the baseboard. Rub the tape down tight, to prevent paint from seeping beneath it.

11. For carpeted floors, the same instructions apply. However, more of the tape surface goes against the baseboard, so you can tuck it down with a scraper blade to protect the carpet edge.

Living Room Painting Ideas

The different rooms of your house require great attention as to the paint’s color. One color might suit a particular room in the house but will not be a very good sight in another room. That is why people who want to paint their house should have proper knowledge and experience in painting. If you want a living room makeover, then you will need good painting ideas.

Living room painting ideas are widely available on the net. There are helpful sites that you can always visit for free tips and ideas on how to start painting your living room. But for those who don’t have time to surf the internet, you can always rely on your taste when it comes to choosing the color of the paint to be used in your living room.

Art has a lot to do with the finished touches inside any room. To achieve the best possible result, make art your inspiration; by doing so, it will be easier to think of great color schemes for your living room.

Check out these living room painting ideas:

First and foremost, you need to choose the color scheme to be used in your living room. This means that you have to choose the paint colors for your doors, walls, accessories, trims, and other accents.

Base your color scheme on the living room’s largest furniture, the room’s focal point, height of your ceiling, the lighting, how the room is to be used, the room’s size, and the feeling that you want to create whenever you’re inside the living room.

After that, it’s now time to focus in choosing the paint finish because this can alter the feeling that you want to create. If your walls have minor imperfections, choose a paint finish that’s matte or flat because it doesn’t shine. This kind of finish also offers effective stain resistance.

For your doors, trims, and other architectural details, highlight them with a gloss finish by using semi-gloss or satin finish. It would be easier to clean these areas because of the texture’s smoothness and the wall’s sheen.

If you have small children at home, you can use washable paints because it is easier to clean or wipe.

For the walls of your living room, you can use paints which are water-based or latex, but for your windows and doors, use acrylic paint.

Cost is a consideration when you want to paint your living room, so always calculate how much you’re going to spend for the paints.

Some color and types of paint require more that one coat application, so you should take that into account. One gallon of paint usually covers about 400 sq feet.

Your entrance foyer defines your personality, so you should make a good impression by experimenting with its color. Try to create a great looking and stylish living room.
Maintain visual flow and harmony; and always consider other visible rooms from the living room.

Add height by using alternate colors of dark and light shades of identical colors. You can also use glazed version of these colors without actually breaking the room’s monochromatic look.

With a little creativity and hard work, you can turn your living room in to a masterpiece of your own creation. Your guests will be awed once they visit your house and see your living room.


COLOR Frequently asked questions

How do colors effect room size?
Generally, warm colors like reds, oranges, and yellows close in a space. Blues, greens, and violets tend to make a room look larger. Dark colors have a diminishing effect. Whites are always a good choice for making a room look larger.

My room has a chair rail and I am using two colors….?
This depends on the look you want to achieve. If you want an open, airy look, always paint the portion of the wall below the chair rail darker allowing the lighter color to dominate.

Should trim work be painted the same color as the walls…?
Use the same color to hide trim work, use a lighter or darker color to bring out the trim work and add highlights.

Will the paint I choose look lighter or darker on the wall?
Larger surfaces make the paint appear darker. As a general rule, always choose colors that are a shade or two lighter than what you want. Do keep in mind that colors can also appear lighter or darker depending on surrounding colors and lighting.

What is the best way to decide which color is best for my room?
Take color chips home to determine the color of your room. A nice technique is to hold the color chips in the daylight and at night so you will see how lighting will effect your color choices.

What color should I paint my ceiling?
White or off-white colors will create the illusion of having a higher ceiling and more open space. Whereas medium to dark colors will create the illusion of lowering the ceiling. Customarily, white or off-white tend to be used.

Will the paint actually match the color chip?
As a general rule, paint on a color chip will appear slightly lighter than when applied in a room. Always take into account the sheen of the paint, the lighting in the room, and other colors that are in the room.

Design by Room – Ideas for Decorating Your Bathroom with Vinyl

There is no quick fix-up to your home like decorating a bathroom. Redecorating a bathroom can usually be done inside of a weekend, and is a quick and easy way to update a major feature of your home. Regardless of the level of remodel that your bathroom needs, this is one room where a little work goes a long way. Your bathroom receives as much use, if not more, than any other space in your home, and should be a place that is soothing, relaxing, and enjoyable to be in. Stained tile and water damaged floors occur frequently in a bathroom, and replacing even one of these components, particularly the floor, can reinvent the room quickly and with little monetary investment. Here you will find some tips on decorating your bathroom with vinyl.

1. Vinyl Flooring

Vinyl flooring is one of the least expensive materials that you can choose in remodeling. Vinyl is inexpensive, easy to install, and comes in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and finishes. Vinyl flooring can be purchased at any home improvement store, as well as any flooring store. Vinyl floor tiles can even be found in retail stores in small amounts. Depending on the type, vinyl flooring can range in price from fifty cents per square foot to four dollars per square foot.

2. Styles

When determining the style of vinyl flooring that you want to use, you should consider how it will tie into the overall color and decorating scheme with the rest of the house as well. Neutral colors tend to be the most appealing to potential buyers, if you are considering fixing up the home for a potential sale. If the rest of the home is decorated in a retro style, there is vinyl to match. The great thing about vinyl is that they sky is the limit when it comes to how many choices you have. There are a variety of textures that mimic natural stone, or even realistic hardwood flooring. Regardless of the decor, there is a vinyl option that will complement.

3. Installation

Installing vinyl will depend largely on the types of vinyl product that you choose. Vinyl comes in sheets and various types of tiles. Some tiles are simply peel and stick. These tiles are not generally as durable as sheet vinyl, and should only be used in low traffic, low moisture areas. Sheet vinyl is easily installed, simply cut to the dimensions of the space to be covered, and glue it to the floor with vinyl adhesive.

Tips: Care of Vinyl

Vinyl is a very durable material. It is just about impervious to anything (with the exception of sharp objects), which makes it ideal for bathrooms and kitchens where there tends to be more moisture than in other parts of the home. Cleaning vinyl consists usually of sweeping up dirt and debris and mopping the vinyl with simple soap and water. An occasional wax may be used to keep the sheen of the vinyl in good shape.

Design by Room – Entrance Door Mat Materials You Should Avoid

An entrance door mat can either be of the indoor or outdoor variety. Indoor mats are also known as absorbent floor mats while outdoor mats are non-absorbent. Although closely related, the two types are quite distinct from one another in terms of function and material. While each could, in theory, pass for the other, it would not be in the best interest of a clean house. That being said, given the fact that the outdoor entrance mat is first encountered when someone steps up to the threshold of a home, there are some materials that should be avoided. Otherwise you could end up with dirt-covered floors or carpets and be left with a relatively useless outdoor mat. Here, then, are 3 materials you should never use for outdoor entrance mats.

Carpet-Topped, Rubber-Backed

Basically, any absorbent material should be avoided when it comes to outdoor entrance mats. Outdoor mats should be non-absorbent instead. Their job is to take off the vast majority of debris, mud, dirt or snow from the bottom of your shoes. They are non-absorbent, so whatever is wiped from your shoes can be easily hosed or pressure washed off when it is time to clean the mat. Carpet-topped mats are very absorbent. They are designed for indoor use by clearing the bottom of your shoes of moisture that might cause you to slip. To clean them, they are thrown in the laundry. Used outdoors, carpet-topped mats would get saturated by mud and other debris and be virtually useless after a few mucky days. If used to remove excess snow, they would become damp so quickly that they would fail to serve their purpose.

Bamboo

While bamboo is fairly non-absorbent, when used for outdoor mats the material tends to get very dirty quickly. If bamboo is exposed to the rain, it will look terrible after enough dirt piles up on it. Aside from that, bamboo mats, especially thin mats, are quite useless at scraping heavy amounts of gunk off of shoes. Thicker bamboo mats can withstand a lot of water saturation, although they are nonetheless ineffective at keeping mud and other debris from getting inside. Bamboo mats are decorative, but they are best used in a place where their primary function is adornment or light cleaning of shoes.

Woven Cloth

Woven cloth may be very durable, but like carpet it is extremely absorbent and will get very damp if exposed to rain or snow. Not only that, but it may never fully dry especially if it is thick. Like carpet mats, woven cloth should be used for indoor mats only, there to absorb what moisture remains on the bottom of your shoes. The organic fibers will get clogged with mud and other outdoor debris, and soon you will be left with a dirty, damp mat.

Design by Room – Cool Your House and Save Money

With gas prices at all-time highs, energy costs are on consumers’ minds. The last thing you want to do is spend more than you need to cool your home as temperatures rise. Buying a new energy-efficient air conditioning unit can pay for itself in cost savings in no time.

It’s important to consider two important factors to get the maximum benefit — cooling capacity and efficiency. Many people size air conditioners incorrectly, purchasing an air conditioner with more cooling capacity than needed.

More is not necessarily better — a unit with too much capacity may cool a room so quickly that it won’t run long enough to lower humidity. This results in a cold, clammy feeling caused by chilly, humid air. More importantly, you will be wasting energy and lots of money.

To help you determine what size room air conditioner you need, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), a nonprofit trade association, has developed a “Cooling Calculator.” This calculator, along with other useful information about room air conditioners, can be found on www.CoolOff.org. The Web site will take you through a series of questions, before recommending models that fit your needs.

Once you know what size unit you need, consider its operating efficiency. The higher the energy efficiency ratio, or EER, the more efficient the model. When shopping, you’ll also want to look for the “AHAM-certified” seal. Models certified through AHAM’s program have been tested and their performance verified by an independent laboratory, assuring consumers that the product will perform according to the manufacturer’s product claims for BTU’s per hour, amps and efficiency.

Once you have the perfect air conditioner for your home size, you’ll want to keep it running smoothly.

Here are some maintenance tips from the AHAM:

• Turn off the unit and open doors and windows during cooler periods.
• Use the unit fan and portable fans to draw in cooler outside air and increase circulation.
• Use a higher (warmer) thermostat setting during peak periods or when the area is unoccupied. A 75 to 80 degree setting will cut power consumption by 15 percent.
• Don’t let heat build up all day and then try to cool areas quickly by turning the controls to maximum settings.
• Draw the shade or window blinds to reduce solar and outdoor heat.
• Regularly change or clean filters and check air flow for blockage or frost on evaporator coil.

Cleaning up after painting a room

Take a Break:

Bring a roll of plastic wrap and a couple of ziplock bags to your tools station. Whenever you need a break from painting simply wrap up your brushes and rollers tightly in plastic wrap and then seal them inside a plastic bag.

You can even put the entire bag into the freezer to keep brushes overnight or until the next weekend when you can finish the job. Thaw an hour or so before using again.

Rags:

A package of rags can be a painter’s best friend. Use them to wipe up spills, dab off excess paint, fix mistakes, or clean your hands.

Razor Blades:

Use these to scrape off excess dried paint on window glass.

Easy Cleanup for Latex Paint:

Try adding a couple of capfuls of laundry fabric softener to a bucket of clear water. When you’re finished painting simply place the paint brushes and rollers in this solution for about ten minutes. Agitate each item for a minute or two before removing it and rinsing well with clear water. Blot off excess moisture then air dry the brushes and rollers before putting them away.

Extra Paint:

Buy a few empty pint size paint cans at the hardware store and use these to store excess paint. Tape on the label from the larger paint can, or write on the new can with a permanent marker, noting the room, color and date. Tape on the color card if you have it with the paint number and where it was purchased.

Touch Up Bottles:

Save small jars from baby food or condiments. Clean them thoroughly and use them to store small amounts of paint. Keep these in a Ziplock bag along with a small foam brush. These tools will make touchups fast and easy. Write on the cap if you need to distinguish between wall paint and trim paint, or flat vs. semi-gloss, for example.

Ideas on how to paint a child’s room

If you are looking to change the look of your child’s bedroom or playroom and need creative ideas for color combinations, themes, and wallpaper….don’t fret! This type of project can be fun, done with the children, and quite affordable. You really do not have to go out and hunt for the perfect color for a kid’s room, nor do you have to hire a professional to paint those walls. Lets walk step by step on a easier way to get paint on the walls. Then we will further dig into what else can go on the walls as well.

PREPARING THE ROOM FOR THE FACE LIFT:

First, buy painter’s tape, plastic drop cloth, ½ inch paint brushes (2), 1 inch paint brushes (2), a paint roller and tray with extension stick for rolling paint on the ceiling (2), paint stirrers (5). Things from the house will include: old wash cloths, bowl of warm soapy water, step ladders or stools, music, and plenty of members to help get the painting done faster.

Second, take painter’s tape and tape the molding around doors, door handles, windows, outlets & light switch covers, ceiling, and floor molding. This keeps the paint from getting on those areas. If you are mechanically inclined you can use a screw driver to remove door handles, outlet and light switch covers but if children are helping it is best to use the tape for protection. Use the drop cloth to cover the floor after you place the tape the floor molding.
Third, get ready to have fun…

DECIDING WHAT WILL GO ON THE WALLS:

This is the part that begins to frustrate most who are 100% ready to paint. What goes on the walls? Remember one thing…..this is a kid’s room. Start with asking your children (if they can articulate what they like). You will find that they will give you something outlandish like….” I want trucks and the colors brown and blue and I want stars on the walls that glow in the dark and a sun”. At this point you say…” Ok dear but we are going to just use white.” Well, from the answer of junior, you got tons of ideas to begin with. All rooms can begin with just white. Then the paint job is simple. He wants trucks, throw a border 4 feet from the floor up with a construction scene on it. The colors brown and blue can be incorporated this way.

Blue ceiling or brown under the construction border. You may say ewe, but there are lighter shades of blue and brown out there. Or you just may want junior to settle on picking one color and use it under the border only.
Your little girl wants pink ponies & ballet slippers, yellow sunflowers, purple hearts, and pictures of her favorite TV show character. And you think…”How in the world???” Relax. Pink, purple, yellow and the “Power Rangers” can all go together.

Choose a very light pink for the whole room. You can hand draw flowers to grow from the bottom of the floor to about 6 or 7 inches up. Now realistically you may not want to do this to the whole room but make patches of the same pattern in 4 areas of the room. If you are not an artist, then grab magazines for visual ideas and copy pictures from there. This does not have to be perfect. It can be painted over. Now come the ponies and ballet slippers. Pictures on the wall can satisfy that desire. Do not go out and spend more that 10 bucks on this. Remember, your child will grow up. I had a friend take a poster she found of a ballet scene and she cut it out and put that on the wall as a center picture over her child’s bed. Almost like putting up sections cut out from wall paper.

Other Tricks and Ideas

Wall paper is a great tool for putting up a new look with out paint. Cutting pieces of wall paper and placing it on the wall in arrangements can be rewarding and new too. For children who love to draw on the walls try putting up a hearty border and under that border, white washable wall paper. This allows the artist to come out in junior and only allowed in his/her room.

Rubber stamps are another tool too. You can manipulate any color ink on a white background or a white border set aside for designing. You can decorate with rubber stamps around light switches, outlets, door handles, doors, any where.

Textured walls and ceilings. Tired of using paint brushes? Use sponges, old rags balled up, bath sqooshies, or pre-made textured rollers at local craft/hardware stores. You can use these as borders too. Paint the textured look think and white, then when it dries, go over it again with a paint brush in another color.

3D objects. Making a child’s favorite scene come alive on his walls is exciting too. Have a kite flying on the wall. Have clouds made from quilting batting floating on a blue background. I have even seen on television where a father took a white picket fence and used that as a border in his daughter’s room and painted a yellow sun and the rays coming through the slats.

Eventually the ideas will flow and you will find that you will have fun planning and more fun putting the ideas to reality. If you are still stumped then resort to magazines. Get ideas from many and put them all together. When using paint please make sure the fumes are being circulated out. This is especially important if your little ones are helping too. And remember, have fun!