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Monthly Archives: June 2016

Paint for Garage Floor

Garage floors put up with a lot of abuse. Not only are they walked on, but they’re put under intense pressure by the large objects they’re forced to hold up. They can be spilled on, frozen over, melted under the sun, scuffed, chipped, and nailed.

When you’re planning on painting the garage floor, you need to know that you’re buying the best product to keep it safe; when a garage floor begins to show issues, it’s a bit of a nightmare to have it fixed. Once the paint goes on it’s often difficult to get off.

Choosing paint for the garage floor depends on how you use the garage. If it’s used for simple things like storing your car, a few tools, and the Christmas decorations, you’ll need a different type of paint than if you use the garage as a machine shop. Here are a few options to help you decide what will work best in your home.

# Concrete Stain

This is the most basic of things you can do to your garage floor. If you’re interested in just making sure that your garage floor doesn’t get cracks or chipping, then this may be the best choice for you. Concrete stain does not come in an expanse of colors like latex paint, however, its application process is simple. You can just put the concrete stain on and forget about it. You do have to acid wash the garage, but after that you just place the stain and be done. If you want to, you can you add more layers, making this the choice that gives the most options while still being the most basic.

# Masonry Paint

Masonry paint is one of the older paints available with which to paint your garage floor. Like epoxy paint, it’s also known for its durable nature, however, masonry paint needs to be refreshed from time to time and the floor has to be washed with acid if it’s cement. So while masonry paint can be used on a garage floor, it’s not the most convenient option.

# Epoxy Paint

This is the gold standard for painting a garage floor—the material can take a licking and keep on kicking. The epoxy is resistant to wind, rain, heat, and cold, so it’s difficult to actually chip and crack the surface. For this reason it won’t need as much upkeep as other options. However, applying epoxy paint is a bit more time-consuming than other options because you have to be very thorough. A sloppy job will actually result in an uneven floor.

 First, the floor needs to be completely clean of previous paint, dirt, grime, stains, and any kind of oil or other substance that could disrupt the paint’s smooth finish. Often, epoxy paints come with a cleanser that can be used to clean the floor properly before you lay the epoxy down. After the floor has been stripped, you can then paint the floor with the epoxy. It has to be applied thoroughly because if you miss any sections, the flooring will be uneven. After the epoxy is applied, you should use the clear coat that is often provided with it. This will give you a clean, flat surface that will last a long time.

# Latex Paint

The kind of latex paint you can use on your garage floor isn’t much different than what you put on your walls. However, when you purchase it, make sure to get the kind of latex paint that can be used for a garage floor. One benefit to this option is that it comes in different colors, giving you the opportunity to be creative with your garage floor. If you know that your garage is just going to be used for storing cars (not working on them) and you live in a mild climate, this may be the paint for you—because while it doesn’t do as much, it also doesn’t cost as much.

Simple Wallpaper Tips

Deciding to wallpaper can be scary for the beginner, but it doesn’t have to be if you keep a few things in mind before you start. Thoroughly read this list of tips and be on your way to wallpapering like a pro.

# Use Lining Paper

Consider hanging a medium-weight lining paper on the wall before hanging your wallpaper. Lining paper will prevent the wallpaper from creasing or stretching and help the paste to dry faster. Plus, it will give you good practice for hanging paper if you’re just beginning.

# Hide Alignment Mistakes

Apply a one-inch stripe of white paint along the top of the wall before wallpapering over dark paint or wallpaper. This way, it won’t be as noticeable if your wallpaper fails to align exactly at the top of the wall.

# Get Your Tools First

Gather all your necessary tools before starting. These will include a seam roller, wallpaper smoother or brush, a carpenter’s level, a few push pins, steel tape measure, scissors, a long tray filled two-thirds full with lukewarm water, a wet sponge, a bucket of water, a broad putty knife, and a utility knife.

# Use Plastic Instead of Newspaper

Don’t use newspapers to cover your pasting table. The ink from the wet newspaper could stain the wallpaper and make it unusable. Instead of risking the waste, cover the table with a plastic tablecloth or dropcloth instead.

# Use a Plumb Bob or Level to Keep Your Wallpaper Straight

House walls are not usually perfect right angles. To ensure that your wallpaper is straight, you will need to make a plumb line from which you measure the alignment of the paper. This can be done by using a special device called a plumb bob or a carpenter’s level.

Even if you use a plumb bob to make your first line, keep a carpenter’s level handy. Use it to double-check that your wallpaper is straight. Otherwise, it could be several strips too late by the time you notice. A carpenter’s level can also help you cut straighter when you are cutting strips from the roll.

# Cut Extra to Match Patterns

Your first wallpaper strip should be about four inches longer than the height of the wall. Strips after that should be at least two inches longer on the top and bottom but may need to be longer than the first one to ensure that the pattern matches.

# Lay Cut Strips on the Floor

Once you’ve measured and cut the first strip—and you’re positive it’s the correct size—lay it flat out on the floor and measure the next strip. Make sure there is enough space at the top and bottom of the second strip that the patterns line up correctly. You can use a pencil to label the back of the wallpaper if you are preparing several strips at a time (the pencil markings won’t disappear when the paper gets wet). Laying it all out on the floor is much easier than trying to do it on the walls.

# Don’t Fold Strips Into Fourths

When booking a strip (allowing a strip to “relax” after the adhesive is activated with water), don’t fold it into fourths. It is easier to hang paper if there is a smaller portion at the top. This way, you can unfold the smaller portion and position the paper before unfolding the larger portion.

# Keep Booking Strips in a Plastic Bag

To ensure your paper doesn’t dry out while it is booking, enclose it in a large plastic bag. This is also useful if you plan on booking several strips at one time.

# Cut Power to Switches and Outlets

Turn off the power in the room before papering around switches and receptacles. Then, paper over them as if they were not there and make a diagonal slit from opposite corners. Trim away the triangular flaps and replace the cover plate.

# Double-Check for Imperfections Early

Double or even triple-check newly hung strips for bubbles and seam matches. Bubbles need to be smoothed out as early as possible, and seams should be adjusted before the glue has too long to set.

# Take Care of Excess Adhesive

Use your sponge to wipe any excess adhesive off the wallpaper, ceiling, and baseboards. Make sure you rinse the sponge often and thoroughly to remove as much of the glue as possible before additional use.

# Sharpen Your Tools

Make sure your utility knife is sharp before trimming. Dull knives will cause the wallpaper to tear and could lead to uneven lines or damaged wallpaper.

# Trim Paper Carefully

Keep a broad putty knife between the wallpaper and the blade when trimming. This will protect the paper and ensure a straight cut. Also, don’t lift the knife blade until you’re done with the cut.

An alternative way to trim wallpaper is to use the back of a scissors blade to mark the angles on the wall covering. Then, pull the paper away from the wall and trim it along the marked line with a scissors. Only attempt this if you can cut a straight line.

# Use Push Pins

Push pins will keep long strips of border or paper secure. Place the pin in a lighter colored portion of the paper to minimize the chances of it showing. After removing it, run the seam roller over the paper to smooth out the hole.

# Use a Special Adhesive for Borders

You will need a special paste if you plan to hang border on top of your wallpaper. You should let the wallpaper dry at least 48 hours before hanging the wallpaper border.

# Paper Your Faceplates to Match

Faceplates are easy to paper. Find a scrap of paper that matches the area of the wall next to the faceplate. Once you’ve matched it, trim the paper so it is about one inch wider than the plate. You might want to sand or prime the faceplate before applying the wallpaper, but this is not always necessary. Lay the paper over the faceplate and check to see that it aligns. Then, cut the paper so that it is one-half inch wider than the plate. Wet the paper and lay it over the plate. With your utility knife cut a small X (if it is a receptacle plate) or a line (if it is a switch plate) where the holes are. Double check that the paper aligns before trimming the excess paper away. Cut off the corners of the paper and fold the edges around the sides. Trim the openings and use a nail to poke holes where the screws will go. Reinstall the plate.

About Landscaping

Know Your Landscape Budget

The planning stage is the most important, and the actual planting part should be the very last step. Landscaping can be a big investment. Research before you buy to determine what fits your budget.

Install a Strong Edging

It’s very important to have barriers between your lawn and your garden. You want to have a strong edging that can be of any material (and price) from cheap plastic all the way up to steel or stone.

Install a Simple Irrigation System

A big mistake people make is not watering enough. Get a simple drip-irrigation system that can be attached to a spigot with a timer. Simply set the timer and it gives the plants all the water they need.

Add Some Mulch

Mulch is primarily used to help maintain the soil, but it’s also decorative. The darker the mulch, the more the color of the plants will stand out.

You Need Good Soil

If the roots of a plant can’t penetrate the soil, then it simply won’t grow. If your soil is really poor quality, you may need to remove it and bring in new soil.

Keep Things in Groups

Try to group things in threes or fives as a general rule. This way, from a distance it will always look full. It’s a good idea to get a variety of colors that will bloom at different times of the year.

Keep Your Yard Colorful

Look around your yard and see what’s thriving and you’ll have a good idea of what to plant. Don’t get flowers that bloom only during one season. Get a variety of colors that bloom at different times of the year.

Make Sure There is Drainage

Use soil to build up low areas of the garden so water doesn’t pool in one spot. This is especially true if you have dense clay soil because it allows very little drainage.

Consider the Amount of Sunlight

When choosing plant material, it’s very important to take into consideration how much sunlight the plants will receive. Too little light and they won’t thrive, too much light they may burn.

Know Your Maintenance Level

Decide how much you can devote to maintenance. Ask yourself if you’re willing to upkeep a pool, wood deck or big vegtable garden. Ask a professional about the pros and cons of each project before you decide.