Each container of paint is custom mixed.Even if you have the formula, there are no guarantees that the color of a new can will be an exact match to your previously painted surfaces. The best insurance for a perfect match, which is especially important for custom faux finish paint jobs, is to save the leftover product.
There are steps that can be taken to extend the shelf life of your remaining paint. Caring for the product begins the moment you open the can. Here are some tips.
Before you start:
Do all preparations of your work area before opening the can. This includes assembling your tools, taping and placing drop cloths.
The paint stores usually do a good job of mixing the product when you purchase it. Depending upon the quality of the paint, no stirring is necessary if it is being used within 24 hours of purchasing.
Remove the lid carefully with a paint can opener. Most paint stores will provide them free of charge. Attempting to pry the can open with a screwdriver or other tool may distort the lid, making it difficult to create a good seal when you are done.
During your project:
Exposure to air is what makes paint harden. Minimize the number of times you open the can. Do not leave it open while you are painting.
If you need to stir the paint, do it gently so additional air is not introduced into the product. When you are done, remove the stir stick and close the lid.
Pour paint into a small container or roller pan. Clean the well (the indentation around the top of the can) and replace the lid.Even covering the can with a shower cap while you are painting will help to keep it fresh.
Never dip your tool directly into the can. The brush or roller will pick up dust and lint from the wall and it will be transferred back into the fresh paint.
In the event your latex paint is too thick, take out the amount you will need and place it in a separate container before adding water. If you add water directly into the can, the remaining paint will spoil prematurely or mold will form. Discard any diluted paint.
When you are done:
Before closing the can, clean the lid and the well of excess paint to make sure there will be a good seal.
Excess air will cause paint to dry prematurely. Place a piece of plastic wrap inside touching the top of the paint before replacing the lid.This will prevent a surface film from forming.
If the can is less than half full, consider transferring the remaining amount into a smaller container so there will be less air inside the can.They are available at most paint and hardware stores.Or, you can use any type of container that will maintain a tight seal (like a Mason jar).
The can must be sealed tightly. Use a rubber mallet to tap the lid shut. If using a hammer, place a piece of wood on the top so the hammer doesn’t distort the lid.
If your paint is in a plastic container, clean the threads along the sides and inside of the lid. Then coat them with a small amount of petroleum jelly to create a good seal.
Label the lid of each can with the name and number of the formula. Try not to allow paint to drip over the sticker that is provided by the paint store. Also include the room where it was used and the date it was purchased. For quick reference, put a dime-sized drop of the actual paint on the top. This will eliminate the need to open the can any more than necessary.
Where to store paint:
Store remaining paint in a climate-controlled environment. Freezing will render paint products unusable.Likewise, excessive heat (next to a water heater or furnace) will make it react with the excess air in the container and cause it to thicken.
Do not leave paint cans on a concrete, stone or tile floor. The moisture will cause the can to rust over time and will distort the color.
I have found that the higher the quality of the paint, the longer it will last on the shelf. Following these guidelines can mean the difference between being able to do a simple touch up instead of having to completely repaint a whole surface. It is always a sigh of relief to open a can of paint years later and know that it is still able to be used.
What to do with old paint cans:
Finding a way to keep paint cans out of landfills and your house can be difficult. But Environmental Enterprises can help you properly dispose of the shelves of paint cans – empty or full – you’ve dutifully displayed in your basement.
The EPA-approved company will unload your cans in Winton Place at 4650 Spring Grove Ave., 2-6 p.m. Tuesdays and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, and in Butler County at 10163 Cincinnati Dayton Road, 2-6 p.m. Wednesdays. For information, call 513-772-2818.
Article courtesy of Kass Wilson, Hometalk.com, as reprinted in The Cincinnati Enquirer 11/20/2011.
A thorough housecleaning can take all day – maybe all weekend. And as satisfying as that can be, sometimes you just don’t have the time or the motivation.
But with the holidays just around the corner, we all want our homes to look good for parties, drop-in visitors and relatives. We want our guests to have that “Wow, this place looks nice!” feeling that comes with entering a house where the beds are made, sofa pillows are plumped, clutter is gone, and sinks and stovetop are shiny.
Fortunately, most visitors don’t check the broiler for grime or under the radiators for dust.
But what should the game plan be when you want to make your home look presentable without going for a deep clean?
Here’s some advice on cleaning high-profile spaces in a hurry for maximum visual and psychological impact.
“Concentrate on the public areas: the living/family room, dining room and bathrooms. Prioritize what has to be done – replenishing toilet paper in the bathroom – versus what would be nice to do – dusting the picture frames,” said Deanne Marie, creator of “Smart Solutions for Busy People” books and blog. Marie suggests taking a timer with you from room to room (use the one on your cell phone if you don’t have a kitchen timer) and setting it for 15 minutes in each room as a way of forcing yourself to “focus on the necessities.”
Even if you’ve only got one hour, you’ll be amazed at how much you can get done in four rooms using that technique.
Marie calls it the “Hail Mary” pass of housecleaning: Cover up the mess when you can’t get rid of it!
The Maids, a national cleaning franchise, advises simply piling your miscellaneous countertop clutter in a laundry basket and sticking it in the closet. No time to do the dishes before company arrives? Stack them on a cookie sheet for temporary storage in the oven (cold, of course).
Another tip: Shut the doors to rooms and closets your guests need not see.
Cheryl Najafi of CherylStyle.com, a home entertaining expert, recommends trying to see your house the way your guests will, to make sure you haven’t overlooked anything.
Take the “sit test,” Najafi says: “If you’re hosting a party in the formal living room, make sure you sit down and survey the room. You’ll see things from a different vantage point. Like those dust bunnies in the corner!”
She also advises taking a look as you walk in the door. What will your guests see as they stand there waiting for the door to open? Broken umbrella? Garden clogs? Spider webs? Junk mail? Deal with it.
Think about the big picture. What large pieces of furniture will people notice as they enter a room? Plumping sofa pillows and making beds will have a bigger impact on your home’s appearance than wiping down the refrigerator shelves.
If there’s one room where bad housekeeping can really gross your guests out, it’s the bathroom. Fortunately, the must-dos are relatively easy to accomplish, and may even be best left to last-minute so nobody in your family can make a mess before guests arrive.
Give the toilet bowl a scrub with a brush, as unpleasant as it is, must be tops on your list. You’re also going to have to wipe down the seat and rim. (Disposable Clorox wipes are great for this purpose.)
And while you can always shut the shower door or curtains to hide tub scum, there really is something nice about a gleaming sink and countertop. Fortunately toothpaste and soap residue are easily sponged away.
As with other rooms, clearing bathroom clutter goes a long way to making the place look like something out of a hotel room instead of something out of a bus station. Other quick fixes with a big payoff: Wipe mirrors with a spray glass cleaner, break out a new bottle of liquid soap, stockpile the extra toilet paper in an obvious place and empty the trash. Clear away icky towels (maybe even put away the throw rug) and put out clean hand towels. Or if you’re a germaphobe who won’t feel guilty about adding to the landfill, invest in a stack of disposable paper guest towels and put the garbage can nearby so it’s obvious where to throw them.
Give a thought to where your guests will unload coats, boots, umbrellas and bags. Is your hallway closet big enough? Can you set up a foldable coat rack or do you have a set of hooks on the wall? Most people don’t mind leaving jackets on a bed; just make sure the bed is made and the room is easy to find for folks who may not be familiar with your home.
Is there anything worse than having a dust bunny accompany your guest down the hall? Vacuuming is such a drag but it makes such a difference. Remember, though, you don’t have to do every room and corner – just the areas your guests will see.
But what about that pesky kitchen floor? Personally, I don’t feel like my house is ready for company unless I’ve at least tried to get the kitchen floor clean, even though I’ve yet to get it to pass the Swiffer test. The Swiffer, in my experience, never lies, and no matter how much floor-scrubbing I do, whether with rags on hands and knees, or with a brand-new mop, a final wipe with the Swiffer always seems to come up dirty.
There is another way to think about your floors, however, when preparing for the arrival of guests.
“No matter how bad your floors look before a party, they will look worse afterward, so don’t sweat it,” advised Marie. “You’ll have to vacuum or spot clean and mop after the guests leave, so why stress yourself out?”
In preparation for the holidays, contact Home Services Link for maid and cleaning services. We’ve got you covered!
Article content courtesy of The Cincinnati Enquirer, 11/19/2011
So you have a tub that looks gross with missing or dirty caulk. How do you remove the caulk? How do you properly caulk the tub? What type of caulk should you use? How do I avoid making a bigger mess?
So many homeowners want to make improvements and aren’t sure how or what tools to use. We try to demystify the processes and share information on tips and techniques. Pulling from the experience and expertise of Tim Carter, we have an informative and helpful DIY for caulking the bathroom. As always, when you don’t have the time or the desire to complete a home improvement or repair, contact Home Services Link, your Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky contractor connection.
Leaks around tubs can often be traced to bad caulk jobs or missing caulk. The trouble is, many people are unaware how to properly caulk tubs. While it’s not hard to do, don’t be fooled by many of those TV shows and smiling
personalities that promise you it’s so easy to do! There is some skill involved, and indeed you need to know a few secrets.
Let’s start with removing the old caulk. Using a razor knife, you should try to cut away as much of the hardened caulk as possible. The flat razor scrapers that are used by painters to remove paint from glass work pretty well for this job. Just take your time and slide the blade between the caulk and the surfaces it touches.
Make repeated light strokes with the razor knife, not one cut stroke using lots of force. If the knife slips, you can damage yourself quickly or something in the room. You want the tool under control at all times.
If the caulk is too hard to cut, it can be softened with liquid caulk removers. These work best if you soak narrow strips of paper towels in the solvent and lay them on the caulk. Then immediately cover the paper towels and caulk with a wide piece of blue painter’s tape so the solvent doesn’t evaporate. Come back the next day and the caulk should be easy to remove.
Once the old caulk is gone, then it’s time to clean the tile and tub and dry it. Use small amounts of water and the cleaner of your choice to remove any traces of dirt, soap film, grease, etc. from the tile and the tub. Use white vinegar to remove hard water deposits. All surfaces that are going to receive caulk need to be clean and dry.
Here’s one of the secrets. In some situations, water can get behind the tile and tub and soak the substrate. If this happens, it will be virtually impossible to get the new caulk to dry and cure. The water behind the wall will keep the new caulk in a semi-liquid state and when you next use the shower or tub, the caulk will wash out. I’ve seen this happen.
You can use a fan, a hair dryer, or some other blower to get the crack between the tub and the tile to dry. If left to dry without these aids, it can take a week or more! This means you’ll need to have another location to bathe and shower.
The places that need caulk are the joints where the tub and tile meet up with one another, and where the tile abuts faucets, spigots, shower arm pipes, floor tile, etc. Think about where water splashes and where you might see it outside the tub after you use it.
All these places need to be sealed so water can’t flow or seep behind walls, under floor tile or migrate to where it can cause mold and wood rot.
I like to use water-based caulks that are labeled for tub and shower use. There are general-purpose caulks, but they don’t seem to be formulated for the high-moisture environment you have in a regular home shower and tub area.
The biggest mistakes you can make while caulking a tub are failure to have the surfaces clean and dry. Remember, caulk is basically just glue. It’s sticky. It adheres to things, but if the surface is not clean, it will not bond well.
Failure to tool the caulk so it’s feathered out well at the edges is another big mistake. The caulk joint needs to be smooth. Avoid smears on the surfaces. Caulk must needs to look professional. This end result comes with practice. I suggest you actually set up two scrap pieces of ceramic tile at a 90-degree angle and practice.
It also helps to have a fantastic caulk gun. All too often, I see homeowners use cheap inexpensive caulk guns. They squeeze the handle and the caulk blasts out of the caulk tube making a huge mess.
I’ve used for years a professional caulk gun that has a 26:1 mechanical advantage lever. I just have to gently squeeze the handle and a precise amount of caulk flows evenly from the tube. You’ll be stunned how much difference it makes in the finished product when you use a great caulk gun.
Article Content Courtesy of Tim Carter, Ask The Builder
The day after Thanksgiving is the single busiest of the year for residential plumbers natiowide.
Big holiday meal preparation and cleanup can lead to a lot of unwanted waste in the kitchen drain and garbage disposal.
Also, a house full of holiday guests who require additional clothes of washing, showers and toilet flushes puts a strain on household plumbing.
Thanksgiving hosts can avoid a visit from their plumber over the holiday weekend by following these clog-preventing tips:
Check before the big get-together to see if your garbage disposer needs to be replaced. The average life expectancy of a disposer is about 10 years. If yours is outdated, consider replacing it with an advanced model.
Never pour fats or cooking oils down drains or into a garbage disposal. They solidify in pipes. Instead, wipe grease from pots with paper towels and throw in trash.
Don’t use the disposer like a garbage can. Avoid letting items like bread ties and napkin rings fall into the sink, as they can cause jams.
Do grind hard materials such as small bones, fruit pits and ice. A scouring action is created by the particles inside the grind chamber.
Don’t fill a disposer with too much waste at once. To maximize the grinding ability of the disposer, gradually feed food waste into the disposer. Run cold water down the drain for several seconds before and after disposer use to flush food waste through the plumbing system.
Avoid putting stringy, fibrous or starchy waste in the garbage disposal. Poultry skins, celery, fruit & potato peels, for example, cannot be sufficiently broken down.
Make sure the disposal is running when you put food into it. Don’t wait until it’s full to turn it on.
For homes hosting weekend guests, it’s a good idea to wait ten minutes between showers so slow drains have time to do their job.
Never flush cotton balls, swabs, hair or facial scrub pads down a toilet. They don’t dissolve and will cause clogs.
As always if you need a plumber, electrician, emergency service or any home repair or improvement, contact HomeServicesLink, your Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky contractor connection.
Article content courtesy of The Cincinnati Enquirer, 11/19/11
It’s that time again for Home Services Link to share some helpful handyman tips to improve and repair your home. Many of our suggestionsare easy and can be completed by a DIYer. but often you just don’t have the time, so let us help.
So how do you smooth a garage floor?
If you are a natural at solving problems, you can tackle this project. We recommend letting the concrete professionals resolve the issue for you with a non-epoxy finish called Sparta-Flex (Sold by Northeast Floor Coverings of Weymouth). Although concrete floors are covered with an epoxy, this technique is worth trying before you replace the entire floor. Sparta-Flex may not fill the nooks and crannies of your garage floor, but it can smooth them out.
You see what you think is mold on your shallow pitched roof. But is it really mold? If it’s green, it’s algae and usually forms near the edge of the shingles where the water drips off. So how do you get rid of it?
Remove it with a mixture one part bleach and three parts water. Apply this mix, let it sit for a few minutes, then scrub with a soft bristle brush. Repeat with mixture and then rinse. The algae grew because the roof near the edge is slightly flared. Water slows down as it drains over the edge and the roof stayed damp longer. Keep it away by installing a zinc strip under the row of shingles below the ridge. Leave approximately 3 inches exposed. Water running over the zinc strip will pick up dissolved zinc as it runs down the roof, preventing new growth.
How to keep the kitchen sink sprayer from sticking?
If you have to jiggle the hose as you pull out your kitchen sink sprayer, chances are the hose is catching on the shutoff valves. For smooth operation, slip 1/2-inch foam pipe insulation over the pipes and shutoff handles. Tape it if it won’t stay put. Get the insulation at home centers for about $3.
Follow these handy tips for your next project and it’ll be fast, easy and fix your problem.