Tuesday, April 28, 2009


One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to improve your home is to give it a fresh coat of paint. Painting can liven up dull rooms, change the attitude of you home of give it an altogether fresh look. To a novice this can appear to be an intimidating task, but don’t despair, there is less to it than meets the eye. Wall preparation, paint selection, and equipment selection are the basic foundation to any successful painting project.
Paint selection
There are many brands and styles of paint to choose from. Most modern interior paint is Latex and water based for easy clean up. When selecting your paint consider the room it’s going in, semi-gloss and satin work better in kid’s rooms, bathrooms, and areas where wash ability is desired. Many ceiling paints are semi-gloss also. Eggshell finish and satin finish paints are ideal for walls giving a clean warm look to rooms while hiding more imperfections in the walls behind than higher gloss paints. One important thing to remember is that when selecting paint, you get what you pay for; most times I have found the lower price paints often require more coats than the more expensive brands thus making the cost about the same. By practice you will discover which brands you like the best.

Equipment selection
When choosing your painting supplies consider your project and get the right tools. Many options are available for applying paint such as rollers, sprayers, and many different faux finish products. For the average home project the roller is the most common.

ü Rollers: Smooth surfaces will use a short nap roller ( 1/4” or 3/8”) as the surface get rougher such as “popcorn” ceiling texture or stucco wall coats, you will need a heavier nap roller to achieve good coverage in all the rough low spots (up to 1” thick)

ü Paint tray: Get a try that matches the roller you have chosen. The most common size is a nine inch wide roller tray. Trays come in plastic and metal and range in price, if you plan on reusing your tray, chose a tray that has a little better quality and durability.

ü Brushes: Many brushes are available for your needs; you will have to determine which one will work for you. Make sure to read the package and get a brush for the type of paint you are working with.

ü Accessories: Trim rollers, extension poles, specialty brushes, rags for cleanup of drips, and a myriad of other products are available. You will have to decide on which ones you will need for your specific project.

Wall and room preparation
Making the paint stick and cover the walls but not the floor or furniture is important. Start by taping off all trim, windows, fixtures that might get paint on them that are not supposed to be painted. Many things like light and outlet covers, registers, and light fixtures can be loosened or removed so you can paint underneath. Fill nail holes and dents/small holes with a quick drying spackle or filler, let this dry completely or when you sand it you could smear the wet filler and have to start over. cover all the furniture and flooring with a drop cloth or plastic sheets, this will keep the paint and dust off the things that are not getting painted Sand the areas with a 80 or 100 grit sanding sheet (you can use the grit you desire, a higher number will be a finer sand which will give you a smoother surface). I usually remove the dust from the walls before I paint with a very lightly wetted cloth. It is a good idea to use a primer on any water spots or stains on the walls and let it dry before you paint.

Friday, April 24, 2009



A lady called me for an estimate on painting a small bathroom and two accent walls in the living room. After a couple minutes of conversation she told me about her sad experience with the previous painter.

A guy showed up at her house to give an estimate. The lady was given a $200 estimate for this painting project. She decided it was a reasonable price and asked the painter how soon he can do the job and how much money would be required up front. To a customer's pleasant surprise the painter said that one of his jobs canceled and he is available as soon as the next morning. Complaining on tough economic times the painter asked for $150 up front. Not sure what was going through the customer's mind at this moment but the money(cash) exchanged hands and the painter promised to start 8 am the next day. Needless to say the would be customer never saw the painter again.

For a small painting project this lady had in mind one would need one gallon of paint for the bathroom and another gallon for the accent walls, a total of $30 -$40 for a decent quality paint. And though it is a good business practice to charge some money up front to make sure the customer is not going to change their mind at the last minute, after the contractor has spent a few hundred dollars on custom tinted paint that is non refundable, customers should have more common sense and realize that if the contractor is asking for more than 3rd of the money down something is not right. And if the contractor can't come up with $40 to buy paint the person should not be in the business for himself in the first place.

I believe in the situation like this when you have a painting project that requires small amount of paint it is better for a customer to buy paint themselves and pay only for labor when the painting job is done. Most of the paint stores catering to contractors have knowledgeable staff that can tell you exactly what kind and how much paint you need based on your description of the painting project.

Or better ask your neighbor with the nicest house on the block who painted their house last time and save yourself stress with a proven painter.


Just because someone says they paint doesn't make them a pro painter.  When hiring a pro check their past customers and ask questions, if they don't have any phone numbers for you to call be very careful of what your getting into.  There are many people out there who claim to be one thing when in fact you could be in for troubles ahead.  When you hire a pro you should feel confident that your in good hands and the work you will get is what you paid for.  And always get more than 1 quote to make sure that your painter is in the ballpark of other local painters.  Good luck on all your home improvements this season.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Very entertaining book memoir with a former mafia assassin. The guy, in his 80s, ends the interview sessions by admitting to killing his friend, Jimmy Hoffa. He even goes into details about how he did it. Though that is the big news, he also hints that the mafia played a role in the Kennedy assassination. I don't know how I feel about his revelations, but it is, at the very least, an interesting look into the world that inspired The Godfather, Goodfellas, et al.


Benjamin Moore Aura® paint was what the world saw president-elect Barack Obama using during his pre-inaugural “Day of Service” visit to the Sasha Bruce House, a shelter for teens, in D.C. With his sleeves rolled up, he helped other volunteers roll on Laguna Blue 2059-30 and Yosemite Blue 2059-40 that were provided by Frager’s Hardware, a Benjamin Moore retailer and a Capitol Hill institution since 1920.
Aura was specifically chosen for its “environmentally friendly” quality. The photo was sent globally on newswires, and the painting session also was featured on television news broadcasts coast-to-coast.