Tips to Freshen Your Home
Over time, your home can fill up with smells that your sense of smell gets used to. When friends and company come knocking you may spray an air freshener or light a candle, but those are just temporary cover-ups. You really want to root out the problem for good. A deodorizer will remove the smells and do the job quite well.
Here is a deodorizer recipe you can make at home:
Homemade Room and Furniture Deodorizing Spray
This simple recipe is easy to make and safe to use. Use a natural, non-toxic essential oil for your spray.
1 Tablespoon baking soda
2-3 drops essential oil – they come in many aromas; lavender, lemon, orange, cinnamon, or peppermint. You can mix them to create your own personal scent.
Mix the baking soda and essential oil together, then add this mixture to an 8-12 ounce spray bottle. Add distilled water to fill and shake well. Spray on carpets, furniture, curtains etc.
Smells can get trapped in paint. You will need to repaint to get rid of these smells completely. A deodorizer spray will not remove all of the odors. Odors may not be the only reason for repainting a part of your home. Over time you may get bored of the same-old same-old and want a new look.
Here are some more tips to freshen your home:
Accentuate a room with an accent wall in a dramatic paint or wallpaper color.
Start with white and off-whites for floors, walls, and furniture. Use decor with fresh color that can be changed according to seasons.
Paint the inside of a frequently used closet and give it a fresh new feel. Use a color that accentuates your personality and style.
When you want to freshen up a room with paint, find an item you love, your favorite fabric, wall-clock or pillow, then find its dominant color and paint the room throughout with that color in mind.
If you want to freshen up a room with paint but you're unsure what mix of colors will give balance, use a 60-30-10 formula as a guide. According to the formula, a predominant color should cover approximately 60 percent of the room (usually the walls). A secondary color should cover 30 percent (window treatments, upholstery and rugs), while accent colors account for the remaining 10 percent (artwork, accent tiles and accessories).
Be proactive and get creative. If you need help you can bring in a professional to do the work, but be informed and know what you want. A professional can give advice, but it's your home!
Top 6 Interior Painting Tips
Clean walls: Dust, dirt, and grease spots will ruin a paint job. Use water, a little mild dish-washing detergent and a cellulose sponge. Rinse walls with clean water to remove the soap residue.
Tape trim, window, and door-frames: Use painter's blue tape. It can be applied up to a week ahead. Remove tape immediately after painting, before the wall dries, so you don't peel off any paint with it.
Prime the walls: It's a common belief that walls that have been painted many times don't need to be primed. The truth, primer helps maximize the sheen and coverage of paint and gives the finish a more uniform appearance.
Brush where you can't roll: Use a two-inch angled brush to paint around trim and in the corners of walls, where your roller can't reach. Paint two to three inches from windows, doors, and moldings.
Use the W-overlap technique: Start in the corner of a wall and roll on a three-by-three-foot W-overlap pattern. Continue in sections until complete. Paint one wall at a time.
Painting trim: After the paint has completely dried, tape where the trim meets the wall. Paint the moldings and the door and window frames with a two-inch angled brush.
Painting your Home to Sell
You want to sell your home fast and for as much money as possible. Curb appeal is your main priority – it's what people see first. If the interior is great, but no one sees it, then it doesn't really matter.
People like yellow kitchens.
According to Zillow, when it came to kitchens, those painted yellow sold for the most. Zillow Digs analyzed photos from nearly 50,000 sold homes from around the country. Of all the colors Zillow analyzed, homes with yellow kitchens yielded the highest sale premium ($1,360 above expected values).
There are some paint colors that could actually deter buyers. Also, a lack of any paint color communicates to potential buyers that the homeowner doesn’t care about the house which could lead a person to wonder what else has been neglected in the house.
A fresh coat of paint is an easy and affordable way to improve a home’s appearance before listing, but stick with colors that have mass appeal to attract as many potential buyers to your listing as possible. Warm neutrals like yellow or light gray are stylish and clean, letting the buyer know that the home has been well maintained.
The exterior can rob your house of needed curb appeal. A buyer can reach a conclusion about a house in about a minute. And the conclusion can be made from an exterior color.
White, tan and gray shades for an exterior home color communicate “shelter” while brown communicates “security.” Sandy hues say “comfort” and “warmth.”
A blue house is appealing and invokes “warmth,” and red can work, as trim. Purple, yellow, pink and orange tend to be bad choices for exterior house colors.
Interior home colors can impact your sales price dramatically at close. Zillow.com, the Seattle-based real estate site analyzed the color schemes in close to 50,000 homes sold over a 10-year period starting in 2006. After accounting for location, price, size and age of the home, Zillow determined that homes with wall colors painted in earthy tones like sage green or dove gray were also present in top-performing listings.
Zillow noted specifically that colors like slate gray or terra cotta sold for sometimes close to $1,100 less than expected. Not having a color in the kitchen also had a negative impact on a home’s sale price. Homes with white or eggshell-colored kitchens also sold below expectations.
What causes paint to crack, bubble, or peel?
Why Does Paint Crack?
Painters use a wide lexicon to describe common paint cracks. Some examples and causes:
• Mud cracks. Paint was applied too thick; surface was dirty.
• Hairline cracks. Paint was over-spread; paint was cheap and had low adhesion and flexibility.
• Alligator cracks. Paint was applied over a wet base coat or a glossy finish; a stiff coating, such as an oil-based enamel, was buttered over something with a higher expansion rate, like plaster.
Why Does Paint Bubble?
Small Bubbles: Shaking a can of paint introduces excess air. Rolling on the paint too quickly can whip bubbles into the paint. High-gloss paints are particularly sensitive to this. So, slow down!
Another culprit is a porous surface like plywood, brick or sheetrock. A sealant or primer will help.
Big Bubbles: Blisters often result when using latex and acrylic interior and exterior finishes. It happens when the paint separates from its base, a result of the application temperature being too cold, too hot, or a damp base.
Painting during a humid evening often results in blisters. Painting during hot, sunny afternoons may result in the upper stratum of the coat drying too quickly, making the solvents vaporize and expand into unsightly boils.
Huge Bubbles: You didn’t paint a coat of oil-based paint over latex, did you? Yes, you did.
Why Does Paint Peel?
Paint peels because it cannot adhere to the underlying layer.
The simplest solution is to sand. Sandpaper roughens the base surface creating tiny peaks and valleys onto which paint molecules can adhere. Trying to paint a glassy, smooth surface is like trying to walk on ice.
Most paint-on-paint peeling comes from high humidity or surface moisture. Chemical incompatibility is another common cause. You can daub oil-based paints on galvanized metal all day, but it won’t stick.
Fact is, paint can be a real pain in the wallet. You need to choose the right paint or you'll be doing the same job over and over again. Choose right the first time.
Things to Know about HOAs (Homeowners Associations) and Painting your House
Most HOAs (Homeowners Associations) are friendly. Most will clean your streets, trim your trees, build tennis courts and let you paint your home any color you choose. A few, however, have more prohibitive regulations.
In fact, some HOAs will require you to hire an approved, HOA-contracted painting company. Others limit your color choices to six or seven mass-acceptable neutrals, and if you desire a different color, like a creamy yellow, you must navigate your way through approval channels: submit paint swatches, list manufacturer guarantees, attend board meetings and whatever else they require.
Special restrictions may apply. If a nearby house has a similar color, then you must choose something else. Some HOAs specify exterior paint choices by body, trim, garage door, front door and special features. Also, HOAs may regulate the application as well as the selection of paint. These special restrictions will be stated in the Master Deed and By-Laws of the Association. Both documents should be publicly accessible.
If you shirk the approval process and paint your home without approval, then the HOA can force you to comply. If you refuse, the HOA may place liens to encumber your property, and those liens may escalate.
Document everything. Some HOAs will demand evidence of original color approval if a neighbor complains, and if you don't have the proper document, then you may be forced to repaint your home.
Fortunately, most HOAs don't care what color you paint inside your house. You'll find, hopefully, that most are reasonable if you want a different exterior color. If you're having trouble getting approval from your HOA, you can call a professional painter to help you. They should have some ideas to lighten your burden.
How to Maintain your Deck
Decks are exposed to the elements all year round. You should have a routine of upkeep that will protect your deck and prevent expensive repairs. If you follow this simple maintenance schedule you can help keep your deck safe, sound, and looking great.
Wash your deck. A dirty deck invites mold and mildew, which can cause rot. Follow these steps to wash your deck:
1. Remove debris from between deck boards using a putty knife.
2. Protect all plants. Wet and cover them with plastic sheeting.
3. Thoroughly sweep the deck.
4. Choose the right cleaner.
Room Color can affect your mood
Your personality is reflected in the colors of the rooms in your home, and vice-verse. While most people spend very little time thinking about room color, it affects our mood whether we're aware of it or not. Room color influences our moods and our temperament.
Color affects people depending on age, gender, ethnic background and climate. Most people react to colors, or groups of colors, similarly. It's the shades or tones used that account for the differences. This is why it’s so important for you to choose colors wisely when painting your home.
Forget about trends when choosing a room color. Color trends will come and go. Make your home beautiful by choosing colors that reflect your preferences and personality. Blend the colors you like into a combination that is pleasing to your mood.
Choosing a color for a room seems easy enough but getting the right combination of colors is confusing for beginners. Color can change a person's perception of the shape and size of furnishings, as well as the shape and size of the room. Selecting colors is not difficult if you learn some basic information about color and its effects on mood.
Each color has a psychological value. How do certain colors make you feel? To create peace and harmony in your home, choose your colors wisely; some colors in large amounts might have the opposite effect on you. What mood do you want to create? Which colors give you that mood?
Look at magazines, blogs and websites for ideas. Take note of the textiles in your home before you choose paint color. Carpeting, furniture and tile have a more limited range of colors than paint, so you have fewer choices when buying these items for your home. Choose home decor first and then decide on your paint color.
Colors act in three basic ways: active, passive and neutral. You can choose color's based on your own personality and desired mood, to your taste and to the room’s purpose. Light colors make a room seem larger and brighter, while dark colors give large rooms a more intimate feel.
Let’s look at colors and what they can do to a room.
Red raises a room’s energy level. Yellow says sunshine and communicates happiness. Blue is calming, relaxing and serene, and is often recommended for bedrooms and bathrooms. Green is a restful color. Combining blue and yellow, green is suited for almost any room in the house. Purple is royal, dramatic and sophisticated. It is associated with luxury and creativity; as an accent or secondary color, it gives a scheme depth. Lighter versions of purple, such as lavender and lilac, bring the same restful quality to bedrooms as blue does, but without the risk of feeling chilly. Orange is an energetic color.
Neutrals (black, gray, white and brown) are basic to the decorator’s tool kit. Add color to liven things up and neutrals to calm things down.
What is Chalkboard Paint?
Chalkboard paint is the greatest thing since sliced bread. It can be used to turn a wall into a chalkboard. If you have children, you can use chalkboard paint to make the kid's room childproof. You can turn a wall into a message board, a calendar or a recipe board. Adults find many uses for a chalkboard wall in their home. Chalkboard paint is a paint that you can write on with chalk. You can roll it directly onto drywall to create a wall that can be written on with chalk and wiped clean, just like a chalkboard. If you are making your own DIY chalkboard wall be sure to use a fine foam roller to roll the chalkboard paint onto the wall so that it’s smooth for writing on. Let the paint dry completely before you “prime” the chalkboard wall by rubbing chalk over the chalkboard wall and then wiping it away with a moist sponge. This helps future artwork wipe off easily.
Your board can be whatever size you desire and placed wherever you like. Store-bought chalkboard paint comes in traditional green and black. But you can follow our DIY recipe to mix your own chalkboard paint in any shade. By making your own chalkboard wall from chalkboard paint you'll have new places to track appointments, keep recipes and leave messages. Children can draw or doodle then erase after they've finished, which will make parents happy.
We have given materials and directions so you can make your very own DIY chalkboard paint.
Materials: mixing container, unsanded tile grout, paint stirrer, roller or sponge paintbrush, 150-grit sandpaper.
Directions: Start with flat-finish latex paint in your choice of shade. For small areas, such as a door panel, mix 1 cup at a time. Pour 1 cup of paint into a container. Add 2 tablespoons of unsanded tile grout. Mix with paint stirrer. Apply paint with a roller or sponge paintbrush to a primed surface – go over several times to ensure even coverage. Smooth area with the sandpaper.
Add Value To Your Home With Exterior Paint
Exterior paint can add tens of thousands of dollars to the value of your home. Everyone knows that exterior paint helps protect your home from weather. A well protected exterior will add value to your home. However, you can increase the market value of your property or improve occupancy rates in your buildings by choosing the right color schemes.
For example, if you use an exterior paint with a mid-value color, such as tan, next to pure white, it will look beige. But if you paint it next to dark green, it will look off-white. To ensure you are adding value to your home and buying the right color when you're picking out a color from the paint store, you should mask off the colors next to it with a white sheet of paper. Also, if you can, you should choose colors outside in natural light on a cloudy day or in open shade. Bright light creates glare and can distort your perception of the color.
Design your color scheme according to value. Choose whether you want a dark, medium, or light main color. You might consider creating a balanced effect between the top and bottom of your home if there is a lot of detail on the top of your home. Use exterior paint with darker colors toward the bottom to avoid a top-heavy feel. Lighter paint toward the top of the exterior of your home will draw attention toward the top and give a solid and stable feel to the house. This will add value to your home.
Ensure the paint colors you choose complement the colors of the exterior materials of your house, so be sure to match the paint color to the roof, brick, stone, or stucco.
Exterior paint should be used on window sashes and overhead surfaces. Porch ceilings should be painted with exterior paint. Use a lighter color paint to reflect light. You can use warm colors as opposed to cool. For example, a warm yellow-white will give a soft glow.
You can make a small house look bigger by using lighter colors, and dark colors will make a big house look smaller. This might be helpful if the house is squeezed between other homes on a crowded street.
Choosing the Right Window Treatments For Your Home
Are you having trouble choosing the right window treatments? You've come to the right place. Each window and room deserves special attention. Weather conditions, lighting affect and visual appeal are just a few things you will want to consider when choosing the right window treatments.
If direct sunlight or strong winter winds hound your windows, mount treatments within the frame of each window will help insulate your room. Tent- flap-style curtain panels have clean lines that look neat whether open or closed.
If you have double-hung windows, consider asymmetric swags draped across the top of each window that cascade down. For privacy, layer sheers beneath the swags. For a more sophisticated choice in window treatments you can hang full decorative panels over a curtain rod on matching tiebacks.
Open up a double-hung window and let the summer breeze in by framing the window with flowing panels clipped to rings that open easily across a decorative rod.
Curtain panels hung from a decorative rod are a classic choice for window treatments and are a fit for any window configuration. Accentuate the shape of your windows by suspending a narrow panel between each pane. For a bay window you can simply mount the rod on the foreground wall. Another classic choice of window treatment, pleated drapery panels give elegance to a room. Add a formal, decorative statement by adding an angular valance.
A solid choice for almost any window, drapery panels can be formal or casual. Simple, clean lines contrast nicely with arched windows. For added privacy, fan-shape shutters fit many standard arched shapes.
Ah, the kitchen! Filled with appliances and wall cabinets, window treatments can brighten the space and give a cozy feel that says, “home.”. Here are the four things you need to consider when choosing kitchen window treatments.
1. Decoration: Fabrics that have bright colors and designs give decor to a kitchen. Trims, tassels, fringe, or bold banding give the treatment a finished look.
2. Privacy: You might be tempted to forgo window treatments in your kitchen until you realize the neighbors and passing strangers can see you. Consider quick-draw curtains, or blinds and shutters, which can be opened and closed easily with a wand.
3. Sunlight: Direct, harsh sunlight can raise interior temperatures, fade wood floors, dull cabinet finishes and damage fabrics. To protect your kitchen space from too much sun, look for window coverings that advertise their protection abilities. Many sheer treatments, such as cellular and solar shades, will disclose how much of the UVA and UVB rays they screen.
4. Maintenance: Keeping window treatments clean in a kitchen is vital. Window treatments that are near a stove or sink will soak up splatter and odors. Consider the material of your window treatments. It will make all the difference in how easy it is to maintain your window treatments. For example, you can simply launder and rehang fabric valances and curtains, and you can wipe down vinyl blinds, solar shades, and shutters with soapy water.