Painting Tips and Pointers

Painting drywall - what could be more straightforward, right? You've already repaired all the holes and imperfections in the walls, and now you're ready for the fun part ... color, texture, a little life, and a lot of atmosphere. The route to making this happen is not singular, but don't worry, having choices makes the process all the more fun! Here are some of the many possibilities available for turning your drywall from ordinary to eye-pleasing.
Textured Paint
In addition to creating subtle or heavy designs, textured paint is a great technique for covering imperfections or damaged areas that may stand out from the surrounding surface. A textured paint could substitute for missing plaster texture.
To achieve your texture you may need some simple tools, like a texture roller, brush, or trowel. Textures vary from the slightly gritty look of sandstone to the marble-like appearance of faux painting applied with a sponge. You can also purchase pre-mixed, textured paints from companies like Valspar.
Glazing
Quite different from standard latex and oil-based paints, glazes are often used in decorative painting. These thin, almost transparent layers can be applied in multiple coats for the desired effect. Glazes are frequently water-based and used for techniques like faux painting and stenciling.
Latex and Oil
Latex paints are water-based, have fewer odors, and can be cleaned with water. This makes them easier to use than oil-based paint. They come in varying levels of sheen, from flat to high-gloss. Oil-based paints contain a high amount of mineral spirits and petrochemicals. Oil-based paints take longer to dry and their tight seal can cause paint to crack. However, oil-based paints generally have the same color and appearance as latex, and are favored for durability.
Spraying on Paint
This method provides the best coverage and helps your paint go farther. Water-based latex, oil, and acrylic can all be applied with a sprayer. However, many professional painters avoid spraying oil because of the chemicals that can become airborne. Use the advantage of convenient application by spraying hard-to-reach ceilings or walls with a textured finish.

PUTTING A NEW FACE ON YOUR KITCHEN CABINETS

When you want to increase your home's value, repair damaged or worn surfaces, or simply improve the look of your kitchen, pay attention to cabinetry. You've got several options for improvement, one of them being a simple resurface.
To begin with, what condition are your cabinets in? Are they severely worn or damaged? In this case, you may want to replace instead of refinish. On the other hand, refinishing bodes well with kitchen cabinets that hold up some style as well as functionality.
Before you refinish, keep in mind that your technique will vary with cabinetry type. Some faux cabinets made from rough, inexpensive materials may not be suitable for most standard finishes. In addition, composite cabinets are better suited to deep cleaning, painting, or veneering versus using stains or finishes that would reveal wood grains and result in inconsistent coloration.
Solid wood is most compatible with a variety of techniques, including natural finishes, stains, paints, or veneers. As with all home improvement projects, much of the work takes place during preparation. Prior to refinishing, use tri sodium phosphate cleaners to fill scratches or mask imperfections. Sanding is another possibility, as are gels which could prepare your surfaces without scraping away fine woodwork details.
Now for the finish. You can choose from paint, stain, clear finishes, or veneer, which requires a large, climate controlled work area. Depending on which method you select, finishes can be applied with rollers, paint brushes, rags, or sprays. They should always be applied in well ventilated areas, and a kitchen pro should be hired for optimum results.

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