Painting & Refinishing

How To Stain A Concrete Driveway

A paved driveway is a great convenience, it allows you to get in and out of your car without having to trudge through mud. But, plain old concrete isn’t very attractive and when you’ve spent lot’s of time and money on making the outside of your home beautiful, concrete just looks so plain!

You can easily transform that cold, hard concrete into a driveway that looks like warm, inviting stone. You can stain concrete in many different ways, you can just give it some color or you can actually make it look like stone. Todays products make it much easier to give your concrete driveway a finished desirable look that will compliment your homes exterior.

When you shop for stains, try to avoid acid based stains, they’re much harder to apply than other types. But, they usually provide a much deeper, richer color. Water based stains aren’t just easier to use, they’re also much safer. But, water based stains can also come out looking opaque sometimes.

You can simply measure the length and width of your driveway and take the measurements with you when purchasing stain to make sure you buy enough. The very first thing you’ll need to do is to make sure that your concrete is as clean as possible. Any grease, dirt or grime on the concrete will keep the stain from adhering and it will quickly peel or flake off.

A good quality degreasing product is usually sufficient enough to clean the concrete properly. The best way to clean it is with a pressure washer, if you don’t own one, many home imporvement stores rent them. Once you’ve cleaned the entire driveway, let it dry throughly and then sweep it to get off any remaining dirt.

You should never try to stain concrete that hasn’t been poured for at least 28 days, it will need time to cure. Cover all of the items surrounding the driveway with a plastic sheet or even large drop cloths. If your concrete has powdery, white stains it’s a sign that salt is seeping up through the concrete from the soil. A efflorescence blocker should be applied before applying the stain to prevent the salt from coming back through.

You can apply the stain by hand, but it’s much faster and easier if you use a paint sprayer. If you want to achieve the look of stone, you’ll need to apply several coats of the stain. Start in one of the corners of the driveway and spray the first coat in a nice even layer. Follow the directions for drying time, usually about an hour, but it could be as much as 24 hours.

Continue spraying the stain on the driveway in the same way. But, to get the appearance of stone, skip some areas with each coat. You want the layers to have a mottled look to give it shading. Make sure that you let the stain dry good between each coat and just keep applying the stain until you achieve the look you want.

When you’ve finally got all the layers looking just the way you want, let it dry for at least 24 hours. You’ll need to try to block the driveway off to keep any animals or visitors from walking on your newly stained surface.

Now you’re ready to apply a sealant with a low napped roller. Just like there are different types of stains, there are different types of sealers. Some sealants will give the concrete a wet, shiny finish, it looks good, but will be very slick when it’s raining. There are slip resistant and non-skid sealants available that can help prevent falls.

How To Paint Laminate Countertops In The Kitchen and Bath

The kitchen can be one of the most expensive rooms in the home to remodel. Even if you don’t purchase new appliances, cabinets and countertops are a large expense on their own. If you would like to replace them but can’t really afford to, consider painting them for a whole new look.

Laminate countertops are pretty durable, but over time the colors can become faded, dull or just outdated. If your countertops are in good condition, you can just paint them instead of spending hundreds of dollars on replacing them. It’s also a great way to just change the color of a kitchen that you don’t like.

One of the key factors in successfully painting laminate surfaces is to make sure that they’re clean so the paint will adhere well. You should use TSP, trisodium phosphate cleaner to remove all the grime and build up. Other than that you’ll need painters or masking tape, foam paint rollers, a bonding primer, water based paint and some polyurethane to seal your project.

If there are any areas of the countertop that have came loose, use some wood glue to repair them. Then thoroughly clean the surfaces with the   TSP cleaner according to the label instructions. Any areas that you don’t want to paint should be taped over and you can also use drop cloths for added protection to floors and other areas.

You will definitely want to spend a little extra to get a high quality bonding primer for this project. Kitchen countertops take a lot of wear and abuse and you will be glad that you didn’t skimp on products when the job is done. You should also get the primer tinted to match the base coat so there’s less chance of it showing through the paint.

Apply a smooth even coat of primer to all of the countertop surface with a foam paint roller. Follow the manufacturers suggestions on drying time to make sure that it’s completely dry before applying the base coat. Once it’s dry, apply the base coat in the same way as you did the primer.

If you’re really creative and want to add some designs to your kitchen countertops, now is the time to do it. There are numerous ways to add designs to the surfaces, you can use tape to mark off designs, stencils and even rubber stamps. If you want to create a block design, measure and tape off square sections, then add designs to the center of each square.

After the designs have completely dried remove all of the tape. The last step you’ll want to take is to apply a polyurethane protectant. Choose a water based sealant that is clear and again, go for the quality and not the price. The polyurethane sealant will help keep water from soaking through to the laminate countertop causing it to eventually rot. It will also help protect your hard work from stains.

You should apply at least three coats of polyurethane, but many experts recommend four coats be applied. The more coats you put on the surface the more protection you’ll have. And, it will give your countertops a nice shine that will make them look more professional.

How To Pickle Wood To Add Vintage Charm

Lot’s of people have an immense appreciation for the look of vintage, aged furniture. Antique furniture is a highly sought after home furnishing, but antique pieces can cost thousands of dollars. The alternative is to make new pieces look antique!

Faux painting methods are becoming more popular everyday as homeowners seek out ways to have the old world look without the modern prices. Pickling furniture is a great way to get that look, it can give new wood a charming aged appearance.

Years ago wood pickling was achieved by soaking galvanized nails in white vinegar for several days. The vinegar would dissolve the galvanizing off of the nails, after a few days the vinegar would be cloudy and it was then applied to the wood.

Pickled wood is becoming a very popular look again, but now you don’t have to wait days for vinegar and nails to create the solution! If you check your local hardware or paint store, you’ll find many paints that are especially for pickling. They’re usually available in either white or off white and can be either water or oil based paints.

Since they are considered specialty paints, they are generally higher than regular paint. But, you can easily make your own pickling paint for a loss less. If you choose a latex paint you’ll need to mix one part paint to three parts of water. Oil based paints will work well to, but you’ll need to mix one part paint with three parts of turpentine or paint thinner instead of using water.

Making your own pickling paint allows you to add color to the paint. But, the whole idea of pickling is that you can see the woods grain through the paint. The traditional process using nails and vinegar gave the wood a off-white or gray color that left light and dark shades of the woods grain visible. So if you do decide to add color, use pastel or light shades of paint.

The type of paint that you choose is just a personal preference. But, oil paint gives you more control over the out come. It dries slower than latex, so that if you don’t like the look you can wipe it off and start over, or just wipe some of it off. The main benefit of using latex paint is that there are less fumes. But, it dries quickly and you have to work fast to get the look you’re after.

Once you’ve made your pickling paint, it’s just simply applied using an old rag. Make sure that your wear some rubber gloves to protect your hands. Use one rag to apply the paint, then use another one to remove as much or as little as you want.

After you’ve got the entire piece of furniture done and achieved the look that you wanted, allow it to dry thoroughly. To protect the piece and your hard work, you should apply a clear sealant or coating. Use at least two coats letting it completely dry between each coat.

The best type of clear sealant to use is a clear water based formula. If you use a oil finish type you will end up with a gold tint on the piece that will change the entire look. You should also choose one that has a matte, satin or flat finish. If you use a gloss clear coat the different shadings in the woods grain won’t be as visible.

Pickling creates a dusty, washed out color that is just beautiful. And, for a more dramatic effect, choose woods that have lot’s of prominent grains. Something as simple as selecting wood pieces that have more visible grains can add to the spectrum of shades that will show through the pickling giving the piece even more old world charm!

How To Apply A Crackle Finish To Furniture or Frames

If you’ve got a piece of furniture or a home accessory that doesn’t have a perfect surface, you might want to consider adding a crackle finish. Crackle refers to the aged, weathered, cracked look that paint gets with age and it can help hide flaws.

A crackle finish can also make any of your pieces of furniture or items such as picture or mirror frames look antique. It’s a great finish for anything that’s in a country style home or even a summer cabin and will even look great in a modern home.

You should always make sure that any surface that you’re going to paint is clean. You can use a mild soap and water to clean real dirty surfaces and just wipe dusty surfaces with a dry or damp rag.

Let the item dry completely, if you have to use a lot of soap and water to clean it let it dry over night. Remove and nails or tacks that sticking up out of the piece before painting.

To apply a crackle finish you’ll need some ready mixed spackle, tack cloth and sandpaper. The crackling medium can be purchased at almost any craft store or you can even use Elmer’s white glue, which is really inexpensive.

You’ll need to purchase a light paint for the top coat and a darker paint for the base coat. Then, of course you’ll need paint brushes and some acrylic wood stain if you want to age the crackle finish.

Repair any dents or cracks with the spackle and let it dry, then sand it until it’s nice and smooth. Apply the darker color of paint first, you can apply as many coats as is needed, but make sure it’s completely dry between coats.

The darker paint will be what shows inside the cracks of the crackling finish. You can either choose a light and dark shade of the same color or for more contrast, use white and a vibrant color or black.

Once the paint has dried, apply the crackling medium with long, smooth strokes. If you’re using the glue instead of a crackling medium, mix the glue with about 10% water and mix it really well.

Make sure that you don’t brush the glue too much, just paint it on and leave it to dry. Once you’ve gotten the crackling medium on the piece and it’s dried, apply the lighter paint.

The paint will crackle in the same direction that the crackling medium is applied. So, you may want to decide which way you’d like the crackle to go before you apply it.

You can add even more age to the piece that you’ve done by adding the acrylic paint. Make sure that the top coat is completely dry and then apply a mixture of 50% water and 50% acrylic stain.

Generously coat the surface with the acrylic paint and water mixture. Use a lint free cloth to remove the excess paint and let it dry before moving on to the next step.

It’s a really good idea to coat your finished piece with a polyurethane paint. The polyurethane will seal the tiny cracks or spots on the piece and help make it moisture proof. If the item is used near water or moisture, the polyurethane is even more important.

When You Are Painting Be Aware of the Temperature

When you are painting the exterior of your house when it is cold outside you may not like the results. You have to be aware of the temperature outside when you are painting. (more…)

How To Prepare Concrete For Painting

Painting concrete is very popular these days. You can paint the concrete surface one color, patterns, or even paint a mural. Painting concrete can give you a great looking finish that can last for many years. But before you begin to paint the concrete you have to make sure you prepare it correctly. (more…)

How To Store Paint When You Are Finished Using It

When you have leftover paint when you are done with a job you cannot simply throw it away. Throwing away paint is bad for the environment and you also may need some paint for a touch up job. But if you do not store the paint, in a year or so, it will become lumpy and the paint can may be rusty. There are some ways in which you can correctly store paint. (more…)

How To Choose Paint For High Traffic Areas In Your Home

Sometimes it can be difficult to choose paint for high traffic areas of your home. You have to choose the right paint because it will see more wear and tear than in areas of your home that does not see as much traffic. You have to look for several properties of the paint when choosing paint for high traffic areas. (more…)

How to Use a Paint Sprayer

By using a paint sprayer you can save a lot of time. A paint sprayer can be better to use for painting when you are painting areas that are uneven, rough areas, or areas where you do not need to be precise. (more…)

How to Use Paint Stripper

Many times people think that they need to use a lot of elbow grease and sandpaper to remove paint. But you can remove the paint easier with paint stripper. (more…)

How to Choose the Right Paint Roller

It is important that you have the right paint roller when you decide to paint. A paint roller has a handle, a roller cover, and a cage. The roller cover is also referred to as the sleeve. (more…)

What Paint to Use When Painting Concrete

Many times concrete must be painted, especially for a concrete porch. There is not one paint to use as you can use epoxy, latex, or oil based paints. Each has their pros and cons when used or painting concrete. (more…)

Preparing Your Exterior Surface for Painting

Washing and cleaning of outside surfaces should be done before you start to paint the outside of your home. You must take the right precautions so that you do not get paint all over the ground after you finish the job. (more…)

How to Paint a Panel Door

The surface paint on doors is one of the areas that is the hardest to keep clean. There are dirty handprints and scuffs from shoes at the bottom of the doors and many other things can make the door accumulate dirt. If it is a paneled door it is just that much harder to keep it clean with the grooves in the door. But with a little paint you can make the paneled door look like new. (more…)

Touch-Up Painting

If you need to repair a wall in your home or the paint on a wall that has become stained or discolored you can buy some paint chips from a local paint store or you can match the paint better and do a better job. If you give your paint store a good sample they should be able to match the paint so that you can do the job and nobody will ever know the difference. (more…)

How to Plaster a Wall

Plastering a wall is not an easy task to accomplish but you can do it if you follow a few steps. If you can you should prop a PVA coated panel somewhere, preferably outside or in the garage, and practice spreading the plaster before trying to do the real job if you have never plastered before. This can only make you more comfortable when you do the real job. (more…)

Choosing the right Paint Brush for the Job

When you choose a paintbrush for interior or exterior painting jobs there are a couple of things to consider before you buy them. Here are few tips you can follow in order to choose the right paint brush. (more…)

How to Prevent a Paint Spill and How to Clean it up

Everybody knows that accidents happen. When painting spilling does occur but you can take some preventive measures so spilling the paint will be less likely. There are also some steps to take to clean the paint if it does happen to spill. (more…)

How to Dispose of Paint

Disposing or saving paint can sometimes be a hassle. You just want to throw it in the trash or down the drain or just put it in your garage. But here are some simple tips to follow when you are looking to dispose of paint. (more…)

Quick and Easy Designs to Change a Room

Have you noticed lately that one of the rooms in your home or apartment has a serious need for a pick me up but you can’t figure out how to make the room look its best? (more…)

How To Paint Smart

The single greatest thing you can do to improve the overall appearance and image of a room is to change the color of paint in the room. Painting a room can drastically change the look and feel of a room for a very inexpensive price and a moderate effort. (more…)

How To Choose A Color

Choosing the right color for a room can be a difficult task especially since many people are caution of moving away from the off white or light beige colors because they are worried about how the new colorful paint will affect the furniture that they already own. (more…)

How To Paint A Door

Painting is a boring and tedious task that doesn’t usually create many difficulties expect when you get around to painting doors. Doors create a number of difficult challenges like painting the joints, molded pieces, and sealing. (more…)

How To Choose A Paint

There are so many different kinds of paints on the market that it’s easy for a person to get confused as most of us have no idea what type of paint to use and where which type of paint should be used. The most popular types of paints include flat, flat enamel, semi gloss, and gloss. (more…)

Taking the Dread Out of Painting Your Bathroom

Painting your bathroom can make it look much better considering that bathrooms tend to get dirty and sometimes mold and mildew can occur on the walls and ceiling with the abundance of moisture. A new paint job in the bathroom is not difficult if you follow a few simple steps. (more…)

How to Repair Scratches for Hardwood Floors

Repairing scratches on hardwood floors is easy to do and it will make your hardwood floor look like new. Depending on the scratches on the hardwood floor, generally, you can use repair kits but if there are large or deep scratches you may have to sand the floor. (more…)

How to Repair Cracks and Holes in Ceilings

If you want to save an older plaster ceiling that has a few cracks or holes in it the process is easy to do and does not take much time and it is definitely less expensive than replacing the ceiling. (more…)

DIY Interior Painting

Changing the look room isn’t as difficult as most people think and by using some simple painting techniques they can change the overall appearance of a room.  It’s amazing that just the simple combinations of color can make a room seem brighter, higher, shorter, longer, wider, and even less cluttered than it used to be.  (more…)

DIY Painting Tricks and Tools

Painting a room often feels a lot like a chore to most people because of the amount of effort and energy they must invest to make their rooms look perfect.  People often use the wrong tools and techniques for their painting jobs which results in a lot of wasted energy. Using the following tips and tools can greatly decrease the amount of time you have to spend struggling with a room. (more…)

Do It Yourself Brush Painting

House painting is one of those things that most people consider to be a do it yourself project and for the most part it really is. There is nothing that is all that difficult when it comes to house painting and many actually find a lot of enjoyment from the task, more so then other less appealing projects for the home owner. One of the more important issues about house painting is determining what method you will use for the painting. (more…)

Do It Yourself Deck Staining

Having a wood deck is one of the nicest features for many homes. They are places where the family can gather to have a nice quiet evening and they make a wonderful place for family dinners and so on. Many people have been adding decks over the years to add value and some taste to their home. (more…)

Do It Yourself Exterior Painting

In this age of maintenance free exteriors on homes, exterior house painting has become a forgotten art. However, there are still those people that have homes that require the occasional coat of paint to keep the home looking nice. (more…)

Do It Yourself Interior Creative Painting

There are many different interior paint ideas you’ll discover that can be used to add style, and change the look of your rooms. As you begin decorating the rooms of your home. (more…)

Do It Yourself Exterior Window Painting

The exterior of the home is very important to a lot of people. There are certain things that need to be done to ensure that the home stays fresh and appealing from the outside view. The do it yourself person will take this too mean that they need to make the house look nice inside and out and it may take some time to do that. (more…)

Do It Yourself Floor Painting

Floors are one area of the home that are often overlooked when it comes to painting. With the advent of floor coverings many people forgot about this unique and effective method of maintaining the integrity of the floor and the joists that reside beneath it. The purpose of floor coverings is much more then the standard decorative appeal. (more…)

Do It Yourself Paint Rolling

Do it yourself painting has been around forever and many people believe it to be the easiest of all home improvement projects. For the most part painting is very simple and not all that time consuming when it comes to the work. However, what few people realize is the fact that painting the home before you sell will actually raise the value, even though some people consider it to be a rather personal choice. (more…)

Do It Yourself Woodwork Painting

Painting the woodwork. By woodwork I am referring to the skirting, the window and door frames (inside) and the doors. All of these areas will probably need preparation. By preparation I mean the following: Remove nails and bits sticking out, whatever they are. Fill in any holes or cracks with a good quality filler, let it dry and sand it smooth. Rub down doors with a solution of sugar soap and water, or hot water and washing up liquid if you don’t have sugar soap. Make them clean. (more…)

Do It Yourself Primer Painting

Whenever there is new construction inside a home there is most likely going to be something to do with paint that will be present. For the sake of argument lets say that you have added a new wall to the home to make one room into two rooms. For this you will be using drywall and then paint. However there is a step that a lot of people tend to forget when it comes to this issue and that is of course the priming of the walls. (more…)

How To Use Painting Tools Properly

There are many different painting tools that you will use or may need to use when you are painting.  Knowing how to use these tools can mean the difference between getting the job done and leaving it unfinished.  If you follow these easy tips, then you should have your home painting job completed in no time and will be able to enjoy your finished project sooner than you think. (more…)

Painting? Don’t forget the Paint Supplies

Whether you are painting your home, or working on your own personal artistic masterpiece, it’s easy to forget the basic items needed beyond the paint that will result in a successful and great looking project. Before you start your project, sit down and make a list of all the paint supplies that you will need, so that you can compare prices, and make one trip to the store - not several.