Don't Get Caught with Your Pants Down


You've got plans! You can't wait to get started and you can't wait to see the results! Regardless if you are a weekend warrior, an avid DIY-er or you've hired a Pro, there's often a thrill of excitement and eager expectation associated with the "Big Reveal".

Granted, some projects are less thrilling than others; like fixing the seal around your toilet for example. Whatever your next project happens to be, no matter how small and insignificant, make sure you have all the ingredients for success. Being prepared will save you time and money.

If you've hired a professional, part of what you're paying for is the organization and preparation of equipment and supplies needed to complete the job. The smallest, simplest renovation or home improvement project can quickly become a big headache and a complicated task if you don't take the time to prepare properly.

That warm and wonderful feeling of excitement fades fast when you run into one snag after the other. Scott McGillvray, popular contractor and host of HGTV's Income Property wrote "A proper renovation takes preparation lots of it. A detailed plan will help keep you on budget and on time." (November 2013 issue of Style at Home magazine)

Consider painting a powder room; seems simple enough. A little project like that should only take a few hours out of your weekend, right? Sure! If you've spent a few hours preparing for it ahead of time! Even a professional painter will spend time preparing for a small project. Ultimately, proper preparation for a painting job takes of the time allotted for the entire project.

Painting a room doesn't require a degree but it does require a certain amount of knowledge, organizational skills and mechanical inclination. If you decide to do your own painting; even if it's not your first time, make a to-do list. Take note of all the things you need to repair, as well as the supplies and tools you will require to ensure that the job is done right the first time. Here's where that time and money thing comes into the picture.

Kim Burse and Maryanne McQueen of K&M Painting and Decorating, in Wellandport, ON recommend the extra step of priming large holes and cracks prior to filling and repairing. According to Kim and Maryanne, it isn't necessary to prime small holes, dents and cracks before filling, but for larger damaged areas priming is important. If you attempt to repair a large hole or crack without priming it first, the exposed drywall or wallboard will absorb the moisture out of the repair compound too quickly. This will result in a patch that may not hold properly and can become easily dislodged, even after painting.

Only after you've filled all the unsightly holes and cracks; sanded and primed your repairs; removed the toilet tank (if necessary) and cleaned up all the dust; are you ready to begin painting. Pre-painting preparation is tedious, time consuming and often downright boring; but it's so worth it in the end. When you finally get to paint your walls with that gorgeous colour you chose, it's as simple as roll it on and let it dry. The reward for your efforts will be a flawless finish you'll be proud of.

When you're ready to paint don't be a cheapskate. If you buy the cheapest paint, brushes and rollers don't expect to get professional looking results. It won't happen! Cheap brushes shed filaments (the hairs that make up the brush) and rollers shed lint. Lint doesn't look good on your clothes or furniture and it definitely doesn't look good on your walls.

You don't have to buy the most expensive products but avoid the dollar store cheapies. Likewise, when it comes time to buy paint; avoid cheap paint like the plague! What you save on the cost of your paint, you'll spend in time recoating. Inexpensive paint can also take longer to dry between coats and that's a real problem for the weekend warrior and professional alike.

My local Benjamin Moore retailer (Queen St. Paint and D cor in Dunnville, ON) is a great source of knowledge and information. I tell them what I'm doing and they recommend the appropriate product and the right tools to get the job done right the first time!

A paint that dries to the touch in one hour does not mean you can recoat in one hour. Paint needs to adhere to the surface being painted and different paints (even from the same manufacturer) require different amounts of time to achieve proper adhesion. If you attempt to recoat your walls before the recommended recoat time, you will end up pulling paint off the walls and creating unsightly bubbles. Believe me; I've made that mistake; so now you don't have to!

If you're ever in doubt, ask a professional. We love to share our knowledge and, to a lesser degree, our mistakes.

About the Author

Jackie Nordeman is a certified ISRP, interior decorator, Principal/Designer at Limelight Interiors, and freelance author. She’s passionate about interior design and decorating and thrives on helping those who are less enthusiastic.

Posted by: Jackie Nordeman
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